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Next Time You See a

Next Time You See a

Seashell

Seashell

This book tells the amazing story behind seashells: how they are made
by mollusks, used for protection and camouflage, and full of clues about
all theyve been through. Inspired by Next Time You See a Seashell,
young readers will find these intricate objects even more fascinating
when they discover their origins in slimy, snaily creatures.

Awaken a sense of wonder in a child with the Next Time You See series from
NSTA Kids. The books will inspire elementary-age children to experience
the enchantment of everyday phenomena such as seashells and sunsets.
Free supplementary activities are available on the NSTA website.
Especially designed to be experienced with an adultbe it a parent,
teacher, or friendNext Time You See books serve as a reminder that
you dont have to look far to find something remarkable in nature.

Grades K6

PB329X1
ISBN: 978-1-936959-15-0

by Emily morgan
Copyright 2013 NSTA. All rights reserved. For more information, go to www.nsta.org/permissions.

Next Time You See a

Seashell
by Emily morgan

Arlington, Virginia
Copyright 2013 NSTA. All rights reserved. For more information, go to www.nsta.org/permissions.

Claire Reinburg, Director


Jennifer Horak, Managing Editor
Andrew Cooke, Senior Editor
Wendy Rubin, Associate Editor
Agnes Bannigan, Associate Editor
Amy America, Book Acquisitions Coordinator

ART AND DESIGN


Will Thomas Jr., Director
PRINTING AND PRODUCTION
Catherine Lorrain, Director

NATIONAL SCIENCE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION


Gerald F. Wheeler, Executive Director
David Beacom, Publisher
1840 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201
www.nsta.org/store
For customer service inquiries, please call 800-277-5300.
Copyright 2013 by the National Science Teachers Association.
All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.
16151413 4321
Special thanks to Dr. Jos Leal, director of the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum in Sanibel, Florida,
for reviewing this manuscript.
PERMISSIONS
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for further information about NSTAs rights and permissions policies.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Morgan, Emily R. (Emily Rachel), 1973Next time you see a seashell / by Emily Morgan.
p. cm.
ISBN 978-1-936959-15-0 (print) -- ISBN 978-1-936959-73-0 1. Mollusks--Juvenile literature. 2. Shells--Juvenile
literature. I. Title.
QL405.2.M665 2012
594--dc23
2012027770

Copyright 2013 NSTA. All rights reserved. For more information, go to www.nsta.org/permissions.

To my mother, Vonda Stevens,


for teaching me that seashells dont have to be
perfect to be beautiful.

Copyright 2013 NSTA. All rights reserved. For more information, go to www.nsta.org/permissions.

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the


companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering
with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.
Rachel Carson

A Note to Parents and Teachers

he books in this series are intended to be read with a


child after he has had some experience with the featured
objects or phenomena. For example, give your child a

seashell or a handful of seashells and encourage him to observe


them and wonder about them. Talk about where they might have
come from. Share stories about a time you went to the beach or
found a fossil of a shell. Ask what he is wondering about the shells
and share what you wonder. Then, with shells in hand, read this
book together and discuss new learnings. You will find that new
learnings often lead to new questions. Take time to pause and
share these wonderings with each other.
This book does not present facts to be memorized. It was written
to inspire a sense of wonder about ordinary objects and to foster a
desire to learn more about the natural world. My favorite question
from students after giving them a handful of shells to observe is, Are
these real? I think they ask that question because seashells look like
pieces of fine art that a person carefully sculpted and painted.
Children are naturally fascinated by seashells, and when they
contemplate the fact that these beautiful shells are made by slimy,
snaily mollusks, the shells become even more remarkable. My wish
is that after reading this book, you and your child feel a sense of
wonder the next time you see a seashell.
Emily Morgan

Copyright 2013 NSTA. All rights reserved. For more information, go to www.nsta.org/permissions.

Next time you see a


seashell, pick it up and
hold it in your hand.
Run your fingers over it.
Does it feel smooth
or rough?
How would you
describe its shape?
What colors or
patterns do you see?
Is it dull or shiny?
Smell it.
Does it have a scent?
What words would you
use to describe the shell?

Copyright 2013 NSTA. All rights reserved. For more information, go to www.nsta.org/permissions.

Seashells are some


of the most beautiful
objects found in
nature. Have you ever
wondered where they
come from?

Copyright 2013 NSTA. All rights reserved. For more information, go to www.nsta.org/permissions.

Mollusks! They are the


shell makers. Mollusks
are animals with soft
bodies, such as snails,
oysters, and clams.

10

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11

If you look inside a mollusk egg case,


you might see hundreds of teeny tiny
shells. Thats because these mollusks
begin growing their shells very early in life.

Shell-making mollusks hatch from eggs.


Some mollusks lay their eggs in cases to
protect them. Sometimes you can find
these egg cases washed up on the beach.
12

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As a mollusk grows, its shell grows too.


These fascinating animals continue to make
their shells out of minerals they get from
the water around them.

14

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15

Different kinds of mollusks have different


kinds of shells. Most shells can be sorted
into two main groups:

Gastropods

bivalves
16

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17

The other main type of seashell is a gastropod.


Unlike a bivalve shell, a gastropod shell is made
of only one piece and often has a spiral on the
end. Look in the opening of a gastropod shell.
Thats where the mollusk was attached.

If you find a shell that looks like half of it is missing,


its probably a bivalve. Bivalve shells have two parts
connected by a hinge. When the mollusk dies, the
two pieces usually come apart. Sometimes you can
find the two pieces still attached, but be careful
because they break apart easily.
18

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When a gastropod is disturbed ...

Mollusks shells help them survive. When a bivalve


is startled, it quickly snaps its two-part shell closed,
sometimes pushing out a stream of water to propel
it away from danger.

20

it retreats inside its shell for protection.

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21

You can learn about the life of a mollusk by


looking at its shell. Cracks and chips might be
clues about a battle with a predator. Small holes
may have been made by an animal drilling into
the shell to eat the mollusk. The colors of a shell
can be the result of what the mollusk ate or the
substances in the water where it lived. Some
shells even have evidence that another animal
lived on the shell.

Some mollusks have colors or patterns on their


shells that help them blend in with their
surroundings. Sometimes the shape of a shell
can help the mollusk bury itself in the sand to
hide from predators.

22

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Beaches are not the only


places where you can
find shells. They can be
found anywhere shell-making
mollusks live: streams, lakes,
or even forests.

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25

Not all mollusks make shells. Slugs, squid,


and octopuses are mollusks, but they do
not make shells.
26

Some people think of a shell as a mollusks home,


but it is actually part of the animals body. If you
find a seashell that still has a live mollusk attached,
leave it where you found it. Dont try to separate
the mollusk from its shell. It will not survive.

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27

So the next time you see a seashell,


remember that beautiful shell was made
by a mollusk. It began as a tiny shell that
hatched from an egg and grew with that
mollusk to be the shell you now hold in
your hand. Isnt that remarkable?

You may have seen a hermit crab inside


a seashell. Hermit crabs are not mollusks.
They do not make shells. Hermit crabs use
empty mollusk shells to protect their soft bodies,
finding bigger shells as their bodies grow larger.
28

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About the Photos

Handful of gastropods
(Katie Hosmer)

Calico scallop shell

Pile of Florida seashells

Whelk egg case washed up on the beach

Peeking inside an egg case

Sunray Venus shell attached at hinge

Live conch hiding in its shell

(Judd Patterson)

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West Indian chank camouflaged in the sand

Hole in a scallop shell

Caribbean reef octopus

Caribbean reef squid

(Seth Patterson)

(Seth Patterson)

Banded tulip retreating


into shell
(Seth Patterson)

(Katie Hosmer)

Observing a gastropod shell

(Judd Patterson)

Banded tulip emerging


from its shell

Looking for seashells

(Judd Patterson)

(Katie Hosmer)

Open and closed


Atlantic bay scallops

(Judd Patterson)

(Katie Hosmer)

(Judd Patterson)

Florida horse conch emerging


from its shell

(Judd Patterson)

(Judd Patterson)

Liguus fasciatus, a tropical tree snail


(Judd Patterson)

(Seth Patterson)

Lightning whelk shells


(Seth Patterson)

Bivalve shells and gastropod shells


(Seth Patterson)

(Seth Patterson)

Caribbean hermit crab


(Judd Patterson)

Copyright 2013 NSTA. All rights reserved. For more information, go to www.nsta.org/permissions.

(Seth Patterson)

Holding a gastropod shell


(Katie Hosmer)

Lettered olive

(Seth Patterson)

Listening to a shell
(Katie Hosmer)

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Activities to Encourage
a Sense of Wonder About Seashells
v Take a handful of shells and sort them into groups of your choosing
(e.g., color, size, and texture).
v Sort a group of shells as bivalves and gastropods.
v Find several shells of the same kind, and compare them to one another. Talk about why
the sizes and colors of the seashells might be different, even though they are made by
the same kind of animal.
v Choose a shell to draw or paint, paying close attention to the
colors and patterns.
v Choose a favorite shell to display in your home or classroom.
v Make a list of questions you have about mollusks. Do some research
to find the answers.
v Hold a shell up to your ear. Listen as the shell amplifies the noises around you.
What does the sound bouncing around in the shell remind you of?

Website
The Secret Lives of Seashells Video Clips From the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum
http://shellmuseum.org/education/mollusks_video.cfm
Downloadable classroom activities with student pages can be found at
www.nsta.org/nexttime-seashell.

Copyright 2013 NSTA. All rights reserved. For more information, go to www.nsta.org/permissions.

Next Time You See a

Next Time You See a

Seashell

Seashell

This book tells the amazing story behind seashells: how they are made
by mollusks, used for protection and camouflage, and full of clues about
all theyve been through. Inspired by Next Time You See a Seashell,
young readers will find these intricate objects even more fascinating
when they discover their origins in slimy, snaily creatures.

Awaken a sense of wonder in a child with the Next Time You See series from
NSTA Kids. The books will inspire elementary-age children to experience
the enchantment of everyday phenomena such as seashells and sunsets.
Free supplementary activities are available on the NSTA website.
Especially designed to be experienced with an adultbe it a parent,
teacher, or friendNext Time You See books serve as a reminder that
you dont have to look far to find something remarkable in nature.

PB329X1
ISBN: 978-1-936959-15-0

Grades K6

by Emily morgan
Copyright 2013 NSTA. All rights reserved. For more information, go to www.nsta.org/permissions.