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Seashells in Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach View

Seashell Identification Descriptions for Seashells commonly found in Myrtle Beach

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Seashell Identification Descriptions for shells commonly found in Myrtle Beach

These are shells we find most commonly on the beach. This will help you find a reference point to help you identify about 90% of the shells you will find in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.


  • Angel Shells
  • Auger
  • Babys Ear
  • Banded Tulip
  • Cockel Shells
  • Cowry
  • Coquina Clams
  • Coral
  • Cross Hatched Lucine
  • Imperial Venus Clam
  • Jingles
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  • Keyhold Limpet
  • Moon Snail
  • Olive
  • Penshell
  • Sand Dollars
  • Scallop
  • Sea Urchin
  • Shark Tooth
  • Slipper Snail
  • Surf Clam
  • Whelk
  • Wing Oyster
  • Seashell Identification Descriptions and Images

    Angel Shells
    (Pholadidae), known as piddocks, are a family of bivalve mollusc similar to a clam. The muscles fusing the shell's valves together are weak, making it rare to find angel wings with both halves still intact. The piddock digs a burrow where it lives out it's eight-year lifespan. Myrtle Beach visitors find variations of white, sizes 1/2" to 6" in length. Angel Shells are popularly used in their natural, organic state for jewelry, as well for home décor, sculptures and other home crafting designs.
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    Auger
    (Terebridae) also known as auger shells or auger snails, is a group or family of small to large predatory marinegastropods. Augers have extremely high spired shells with numerous whorls, and the common name refers to the resemblance of their shells to rock drill-type drill bits. In Myrtle Beach they are commonly found in variations of white, peach, gray, tan and brown in sizes 1/4" to 2" in length.
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    Babys Ear
    (Sinum perspectivum) is a species of predatory, carnivorous sea snail found on the east coast of U.S. and South America as well as Bermuda. They are white or gray in color. The size found on Myrtle Beach shores is typically, .5" to 1.5" long.
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    Banded Tulip
    (Cinctura lilium) is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Fasciolariidae. They typically grow 2 ¼
    4 1/8 inches in length. The size found on Myrtle Beach shores is typically, .5" to 1.5" long
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    Cockel Shells
    are home to a small, edible, saltwater clam, a marine bivalve mollusc. Cockles live buried in sediment and will take on the color of the sediment they are buried within.
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    Cowry
    (Cypraeidae)is a species of small sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the Cypraeidae family. Cowaries are usually smooth and shiny , with a flat under surface which shows a long, narrow, slit-like opening, which is often toothed at the edges. The size found on Myrtle Beach shores is typically, .5" to .75" long and they are a combination of beige, white and/or gray in color.
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    Coquina Clams
    (Donax) sometimes known as bean clams, is a genus of small, edible saltwater clams, marine bivalve mollusks. The empty small shells may be found washed up on the beach, especially at low tide. The size found on Myrtle Beach shores is typically, .5" to 1.5" long.
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    Coral
    Marine invertebrates in the class Anthozoa of phylum Cnidaria, come from the shelf edge, approximately 75 miles offshore, known as "Outer Shelf Reefs.". Coral are reef builders that inhabit oceans and secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton. They typically live in compact colonies of many identical individual polyps.
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    Cross Hatched Lucine
    (Divaricella quadrisulcata) are generally white in color and have a little tip at one end of their circular shell. The size found on Myrtle Beach shores is typically, .5" to 1" long.
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    Imperial Venus Clam
    (Chione latilirata) is a bivalve mollusc in the family Veneridae. It grows to about 4.5 cm (1.5 inches), and lives off the eastern shores of North and South America, south of Cape Hatteras, in 20 to 40 m (60 to 120 ft) depths. Occasionally it is found washed up on ocean shores. It ranges from North Carolina to Brazil. This species has been frequently found among catches of the Atlantic calico scallop.
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    Jingles
    (Anomia simplex) also known as mermaid's toenails, and saddle oysters, are common, translucent shells that are attached to rocks, other shells, and wood. In Myrtle Beach, they are typically variations of black, gray, yellow, beige and/ or clear, ranging in sizes from half inch to two inches in diameter.
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    Keyhold Limpet
    (Fissurellidae) are limpet-like sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the clade Vetigastropoda. They name comes from the small hole in the apex of their cone-like shells. On Myrtle Beach shores sizes are typically from .5" to 1.5" long, and are mostly variations of gray, beige, white, tan or rust in color.
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    Moon Snail
    (Naticidae) are predatory sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the clade Littorinimorpha. They will attack almost any other shelled mollusk they encounter in the sand, including other moon snails. They are found on Myrtle Beach shores in sizes from 1/8" to 2", and are mostly dull gray in color, though brightly colored, glossy shells can be found.
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    Olive
    (Olividae) are all carnivorous sand-burrowers in the taxonomic family of medium to large predatory sea snails with smooth, shiny, elongated oval-shaped shells. Olive shells are popular with shell collectors, and are also often made into jewelry and other decorative items. On Myrtle Beach shores they are found in sizes from 1/2" to 2.5", in variations of gray, white, beige, tan, peach colors,
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    Penshell
    (Pinna nobilis) also known as oble pen shell or fan mussel. The shell is usually 1.0 to 1.6 foot-long, but can reach 4 feet. In Myrtle Beach they are typically 4" to 8" long. It has become threatened with extinction, due in part to fishing, incidental killing by trawling and anchoring, and the decline in seagrass fields; pollution kills eggs, larvae, and adult mussels.
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    Sand Dollars
    also known as sea cookie or snapper biscuit or pansy shell are Clypeasteroida with a fivefold radial pattern. Dead Sand Dollars are commonly found with their empty test devoid of all surface material and bleached white by sunlight. Living Sand Dollars should be gently returned to the sea. They are commonly seen in tide pools left at high tide, when the tide become low and are found in sizes 2" to4".
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    Scallop
    a species of saltwater clams or marine bivalve mollusks in the taxonomic family Pectinidae. In Myrtle Beach Scallop shells are typically combinations of black, gray, white, tan, pink, red, rust and/or blue and 1/4" to 3" across.
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    Sea Urchin
    (Arbacia punctulata)commonly known as Atlantic Purple Sea Urchi, has a flattened, globular, calcareous shell made up of skeletal plates and is omnivorous, consuming a wide variety of prey. In Myrtle Beach, the Purple Sea Urchin is fairly common and the fragile shell is found on the shore in sizes 1/2" to 2".
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    Shark Tooth
    Commonly found on Myrtle Beach shores ranging in sizes from an inch long to hand size teeth with a wide base. Sharks continually shed their teeth; some Carcharhiniformes shed approximately 35,000 teeth in a lifetime. There are five kinds Dense flattened teeth, Needle-like Teeth, Pointed Lower Teeth and Triangular Upper Teeth, Transitional teeth and huge, hand-sized Megalodon teeth which were found in Myrtle Beach in 2015.
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    Slipper Snail
    (Crepidula fornicata) also known as common Atlantic slippersnail, boat shell, quarterdeck shell, fornicating slipper snail and Atlantic Slipper Limpet. They are found in color variations of gray, blue, tan, beige, brown and peach in sizes ¼" to 2.5" long.
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    Surf Clam
    (Spisula solidissima) also known as Atlantic surf clam, bar clam, hen clam or skimmer. Large empty shells are commonly used for decorative dishes. They are typically white in color and range in sizes from one inch to six inches on Myrtle Beach shores.
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    Whelk
    Buccinidaeare carnivores and scavengers often mistaken for Conch, though Conch aren't carnivores. They are typically the ingredient in Grand Strand Conch dishes such as soups and fritters. In Myrtle Beach they are gray in color and typically range in sizes from 1/8" to 8" long.
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    Wing Oyster
    (Pteria colymbus) or Atlantic winged oyster is a species of bivalve mollusc in the family Pteriidae. The Wing Oyster grows to about 2.8" long and has a distinctive, asymmetric shape. It has a long straight hinge with one wing drawn out a long way and the other one much smaller. On the beach, they look like a broken cockle shell, if you don't notice the wings.
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