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Volute Sea Shells

Volutidae

Volutes are attractive sea shells with distinctive markings. The name volute in Latin is voluta. It means forming a spiral curve or curves. Volute sea shells are spiral vase like shells with an aperture which is rather wide. The inner lip has three or four plaits. (Grooves, teeth or folds.) They're also noted for having a bulbous initial whorl at the apex or tip of the shell that looks like a shiny nub.

Volute shells are found on coral sandy or muddy bottoms mainly in deep waters of tropical seas. They are all carnivorous.

Although melon shells are volutes, they differ slightly in that they are rounder or fatter which gives them that melon shape. Also referred to as melo shells and bailer shells. The nickname "bailer shells" comes from the sea shell's ability to hold large amounts of water making it useful to bail water from boats.

Author: Amy Ferguson