Photo of the day (63): Turbinella pyrum

Turbinella pyrum is a large marine predatory snail. It belongs to the family Turbinellidae. The shell length of this species up to 150 mm.

This specimen of shell has unusual appearance, because it is a shankha. Shankha shells are religious items used in Buddhism and Hinduism. It is on display in temporary exhibition The Story of Tibet in Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures in Prague.

Shankha Turbinella pyrum shellThis shankha comes from Tibet or from Mongolia. It was used as a regilious ritual item in Tibetan Buddhism. The shell of this specimen is decorated with a metal plate, that gives the ability to use this shell as a trumpet.

References

Wikipedia contributors 2017: Shankha. accessed 29 July 2017.

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Photo of the day (62): Achatinidae shells

There is a small display of shells from the family Achatinidae in one of new houses called House of Evolution in the Ostrava ZOO, Czech Republic. All Achatinidae species comes from Africa, but some of them spreaded to other continents by human activities as pests and pets.

Table with shells of AchatinidaeThere are the following species on display:
Archachatina marginata marginata from Cameroon,
Limicolaria numidica from Cameroon,
Achatina achatina from Ghana,
Limicolaria flammea from Ghana,
Archachatina marginata candefacta from Cameroon,
Achatina balteata infrafusca from Congo,
Pseudachatina connectens rollei from Cameroon,
Archachatina papyracea adelinae from Cameroon,
Archachatina puylaerti from Togo,
Archachatina porphyrostoma from Nigeria,
Archachatina marginata suturalis from Nigeria.

These are just 11 samples of the diversity of Achatinidae, that contains 176 species and subspecies.
Achatinidae shellsReferences

Protiva T. 2011: Oblovky plži čeledi Achatinidae. – Robimaus, 72 pp., ISBN 9788087293225. page 6. (in Czech)

Photo of the day (61): Ena montana

Ena montana is a species of a common land snail with Central European, Alpine and Carpathian distribution. It belong to the family Enidae. It is similar to Merdigera obscura, but they differ in size. Ena montana reach shell length up to 16 mm, while Merdigera obscura can grown up to 9 mm only.

Left side view of Ena montana crawling on a calcareous rock:

Ena montanaIt is the only species of Ena occurring in Central Europe. Other Ena species live in southern Europe.

My specimen comes from Velká Fatra Mountains, Slovakia. I have taken the photo in situ on a calcareous rock in the forest. But they also inhabits humid habitats in forests in lowlands.

It feeds mainly on living algae, sometimes on dead higher plants and rarely also on lichens.

References:

Falkner G., Obrdlík P., Castella E. & Speight M. C. D. 2001: Shelled Gastropoda of Western Europe. München: Friedrich-Held-Gesellschaft, 267 pp.

Horsák M., Juřičková L. & Picka J. 2013: Měkkýši České a Slovenské republiky. Molluscs of the Czech and Slovak Republics. Kabourek, Zlín, 264 pp. (in Czech and English). page 32 and 82.