As you wander along the beach, especially near the high-tide mark, you can hardly fail to see that there are millions of shells washed up by the tide. On closer inspection you will discover that there are dozens of different shells, some very common and some quite unusual. The shells on this page have all been found along the stretch of beach within the Countyside Park. They are the shells of Molluscs known as Gastropods and Bivalves. Some can be found living on the rocks or in the rock pools exposed at low tide. Others bury themselves in the sand so are less likely to be seen. Still more live further out to sea. Other aspects of seashore life are on our Seashore Life page.
Gastropods have a one-piece shell, with a large opening for the ‘foot’ which it uses to attach itself to rocks, move around and feed. They often feed on algae on the rocks.
Bivalves have a hinged two-piece shell which they can close up, giving them some protection from predators. Many of them burrow into sand and they usually feed by siphoning nutrients from the water. Usually by the time they end up on the strandline the two halves have separated.
Other things you may see along the sea shore are shown on the Seashore Life page.