Shelling is when people look for and or gather shells along a shoreline. Given the plentiful wildlife around Naples this is a rather popular activity. In fact, with the variety of shells that Naples has, it is a shelling destination for people all around the world.
The various shells and other items found along Naples' shores include conches, whelks, scallops and Florida sand dollars.
Conches are spiral shells that can be either sinistral (left-handed) or dextral (right-handed). While there is a larger variety of species of conch in the Indo-Pacific some are in the Caribbean area, including southern Florida. Be aware that not all shells whose common name includes conch are actually of the true genus.
Whelks are often confused with conches, the main difference is that a whelk's shell is slimmer. Whelks are carnivores and scavenge for their food which consists of clams, crabs, and lobsters. Coloring is typically light gray to tan usually with brown and or white streaks. The two main types of whelks are channeled and knobbed. Channeled whelks have a smooth shell with channels following the swirls. Knobbed whelks have tubercles which aid them when eating clams.
Scallops are bivalve mollusks. Their adductor muscle is more developed than oysters. This is because scallops are swimmers. They use their more developed adductor to swim and are the only migratory bivalve. Rapidly opening and closing its shell not only enable it to swim but is also its defense mechanism.
The sand dollar is a marine animal. What is found on the beach is their skeleton. By the time they wash up on shore they no longer have their minute spine coating. The reason the sand dollars are white when they wash up on shore is because the sun bleaches them out. Sand dollars live off of plankton and other small organisms that are in the water. Sand dollars are usually found together in the water because they enjoy soft bottom areas.