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Operculum

Operculum

This Knobbed Whelk was found right at the tide line. The large predatory sea snail may have been feeding in shallow water which is common for this species in early summer. The sun was directly overhead and created the fine white erratic lines in the water. The animal was partially out of its shell, allowing a glimpse of the dark purple flesh attached to the operculum. The IUCN Red List has not assessed the Knobbed Whelk, but recent state laws have been enacted to protect the whelk from over harvesting including specific size limits. Photographed at State Beach, Edgartown, Massachusetts, USA.