Friday, April 27, 2007

Not on my mantlepiece

My grandmother used to keep two of these on her mantlepiece, or rather the remains of two of these. You've probably seen the shell of the tiger cowrie, Cypraea tigris, before for sale somewhere as a souvenir alongside a beach it never inhabited.

tiger cowrie

The one in this picture looks a little different: its alive! Note the blurry film over the spotted pattern. That's its fully extended foot or mantle spreading up to envelope the shell. Regardless of where you see them for sale these are Indo-pacific residents, this individual was standing out in every sense on the black sand of Dumaguete in the Philippines. I think it looks rather better like this so you won't see one without its mantle on my mantle.


Charlie said...

"Without its mantle on my mantle..." - brilliant phrase (I may have to steal it one day...I'll find a way to use it, you know I will...)

tai haku said...

I'll look out for it on your blog charlie!