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Mediterranean shells.

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The Malacology is the science that studies the mollusks. The shells are biological and rigid structures that protect and support the soft-bodied animals without skeletons. They are composed of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and are composed of three layers: the outer (periostracum), the median (ostracum), the inner (ipostracum).


The different colours are determined by the substances produced by mollusks in the formation of the shell. The different ornamentations are given by different intensities of secretion of calcium carbonate. The shell is derived from the secretion made by the mantle, a fold of skin that covers the mollusks’body.


Patella ferruginea

  • Itisundoubtedly, the most beautiful and the mostpopular in oursea. Itisabletoreachmaximumdimensionsofabout 9 cm. Thisparticularspecies can live out of water.


  • There are about 25 speciesofGibbula in the Mediterranean, they are all common in this area, exceptforGibbulanivosa, becauseitisonlyfound in the islandof Malta. Itisabout 8 mm in diameter and itlives in deepwaters.

Luria lurida

  • Itis the most common among “ the MediterraneanCypree “ and it can alsoreachmaximumdimensionsofabout 5 cm. They are brown and violet. They live in deepwaters.

Mitra zonata

  • Itwasconsidered, until the 70’s, oneof the most rare speciesof the Mediterraneansea. The dimensions are verylarge, over 8 cm. Itlives in muddyplaces.

Tonna galea

  • Itisoneof the biggest and rare ofMediterranean ‘’Gasteropodi’’. Ithas a spinalribbing in itssurface, a big muzzlewith a slight and dentate lip. Tonna galea hasreallylargedimensions !

Ranella olearia

  • Itis a hugespecies. Ithasdeepsuturesofcircles, richofspinalcords and tubercles, a round muzzlewithanopenedsifon.

Pinna nobilis

  • Itis the biggestshell in the Mediterraneansea and itis in dangerofdisappearing. Pinna Nobilis (clam) can reach 80 cm ofheight. Inside, itismotherofpearl, withgrey and light blueshades. Outsideitislessflashy.

Mytilusgalloprovincialis ( mussels )

  • It is a mollusk with gills which absorbs oxygen for breathing and holding the food supply . The valve is externally black or black - purple, with circles, internally is pearl colour , but with a smooth surface. The two valves are held together by a hinge with three or four teeth . This species is sold in fish markets .


  • It is a bivalve minimum size ( about 1 cm ) of triangular shape. The color ranges from white to yellow to pink. It lives on sandy bottoms at very low depth.


  • It is a thin shell almost opaque and slightly glossy, brilliant . The surface is composed of numerous very fine strias and irregular , stronger towards the ventral edge . The colour can vary from white to yellow to gray . The species lives in the depths sunken sandy - muddy .


  •  It is a bivalve shell with relatively light and fragile , of reduced dimensions. Especially in young fish can be seen that the narrow -band radial fan out towards the corner from back – panel umbron.