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Shell growth of Cochlicella acuta

May 11, 2010

Shell growth of Cochlicella acuta

Cochlicella acuta (Müller, 1774) is a pulmonate land snail which lives in coastal habitats, especially on sand dunes and coastal grassland. It is not native to the British Isles, however it arrived in prehistory, and very quickly became often the most common snail in suitable habitats. The adult shell is very elongated, however the juvenile shell is rather different looking, and may not be easily recognisable as such. The best identification guide I know of is John Evans’s 1972 book Land Snails and Archaeology, now long out of print and very expensive to buy second hand. In life, the shells show a good deal of variability in colour, often with dark bands and blotches, however these shells are archaeological sub-fossils, and have lost their periostracum, the protein layer which covers the calcareous shell.

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