How to beachcomb like you mean it.

Who has ever picked up a shell from the beach and marveled at this discovery ?

Then comes the question : who’s the little guy ?

If you have no conchologist at hand, the web has hundreds of sites helping you visually identify your specimen,  like the the French conchology association  or the Linnean society web keys.

Beware though, every littoral zones are different and informations found online are often limited to a specific area. With this tiny info in mind, you can usually determine two to three possible identifications.

To reduce the possibilities and find its name, a finer and more acute observation and description is key: like the shell’s texture or its mother-of-pearl color.

As for every species, zoologists have thought -and fought- long and hard to find a way to name them. Pretty soon in science history, they felt the need to use a method that would prevent repetitions.

Such a method was theorised and described by Carl Von Linné (1707-1778), based on the use of a latin name made from two distinct part called the  « binomial nomenclature »  or « binary nomenclature »

The first part is the genus and the second one the species inside that genus.

If you ever encounter a new species, you will be able to name it any way you wish after publishing a full and exhaustive description there :

Unless somebody beat you to it…


Second photo by ©Alexis Paul.

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