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Georgia’s State Seashell: The Knobbed Whelk

Posted by Jody on January 19, 2012

The Knobbed Whelk is a gorgeous seashell.  This beauty can be found along the Atlantic Ocean’s beaches and bays from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to Cape Canaveral, Florida. Even though the Knobbed Whelk is a relatively common seashell, this beach treasure would certainly be a welcome addition to any beachcomber’s collection. Large, spiral, and somewhat spindle-shaped, this predatory sea snail has rounded spines (knobs) along its shoulder. The Knobbed Whelk is most commonly found on sand, in water up to 30 feet deep. (A good storm will cast the empty seashell ashore.)  It ranges in color from shades of gray to pale brown. A member of the Crown Conch Family, this thick-shelled mollusk typically measures from 4 to 9 inches in length.

Knobbed Whelk (Photo by JoshuaDavisPhotography.com/Wikimedia Commons)

The Knobbed Whelk (Busycon carica) was adopted as the official Georgia State Seashell on April 16, 1987, by a Joint Resolution of the Georgia General Assembly. Believe it or not,  House Resolution No.130 is an interesting read.

The Knobbed Whelk is also the Official State Shell of New Jersey.  It  became the State Shell of “The Garden State”  in 1995. Better late than never!

Happy beachcombing, y’all!

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