Treasure #16 Murex gastropod

This Murex is a gastropod, one of the largest and heaviest specimens in the Woodman’s sizeable collection of seashells. It is a highly predatory carnivore, living in all tropical seas, but particularly abundant on, or near, coral reefs where it can easily find and devour other invertebrates. The Murex has a highly sculptured spine with frills and fronds aplenty. In ancient times, the Romans would boil these snail-like creatures for days (the smell was awful!) in order to get them to release a coveted purple dye from a gland inside the shell. This dye helped create the Royal Purple robes that were fit only for monarchs and heads of state.

Return to Woodman List

Return to 100 Treasures Gallery page

Comments are closed