Exploring the Seashells of New York: A Guide to the Different Types of Shells

New York’s coastline offers a variety of seashells for beachcombers and shell enthusiasts. While the types of shells you can find may vary depending on the specific location and time of year, here are some common types of shells that can be found along the New York coast:

1. Bay Scallop (Argopecten irradians)

Bay scallop shells are small bivalves commonly found along the shores of New York. They have flat, round shells with distinctive ridges and come in various colors, including white, orange, and brown. Bay scallops are often found in shallow waters and tidal areas.

2. Slipper Snails (Family Calyptraeidae)

Slipper snail shells, also known as boat shells or slipper shells, are small, curved shells resembling a slipper or boat. They have a smooth, glossy surface and come in various colors, including white, brown, and purple. Slipper snails are commonly found washed up on the beaches of New York.

3. Common Periwinkle (Littorina littorea)

Common periwinkle shells are small, spiral-shaped shells commonly found along the rocky shores of New York. They have a ribbed texture and are typically dark brown or black in color. Common periwinkles are often found attached to rocks in the intertidal zone.

4. Quahog Clam (Mercenaria mercenaria)

Quahog clams are bivalve shells known for their hard and sturdy composition. They have thick, round shells with distinct ridges and can vary in color from gray to brown. Quahog clams are commonly found buried in the sandy areas of New York’s beaches.

5. Moon Snail (Euspira heros)

Moon snail shells are large, round shells with a spiral shape. They have a thick, sturdy composition and can vary in color from tan to brown. Moon snail shells are often found on sandy or muddy beaches along the coast of New York.

6. Jingle Shell (Anomia simplex)

Jingle shells are thin, bivalve shells with a shiny, translucent appearance. They have a triangular shape and are commonly found in a range of colors, including yellow, white, and brown. Jingle shells are often found scattered along the shores of New York.

7. Razor Clam (Ensis directus)

Razor clams are elongated bivalve shells that can be found buried in sandy areas of New York’s beaches. They have thin, delicate shells with a long, narrow shape. Razor clams are known for their ability to burrow quickly into the sand.

These are just a few examples of the many types of shells that can be found along the New York coast. Exploring different beaches and coastal areas will reveal a wide variety of seashells, each with its own unique beauty and characteristics. Remember to respect local regulations and guidelines when collecting shells and leave living organisms undisturbed.