Sinistral ancient neptune: red whelk: buckie

When viewed from the top whelk shells normally spiral in a clockwise direction. This is known as dextral or ‘right handed’. Very rarely a mutation produces snails whose shells coil anticlockwise - they are known as sinistral or ‘left-handed’.

It’s not just the shell of a sinistral whelk that is a mirror image of the more common dextral form; it’s internal organs are on the opposite side too. For molluscs this makes mating very challenging.

Object Summary

Accession Loan No.
Collection Class
Collector Excavator
Pitman, Captain Charles Robert Senhouse (from the collection of)
Common Name
sinistral ancient neptune: red whelk: buckie
Simple Name

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Neptunea antiqua (Linnaeus): sinistral shell; ancient neptune, red whelk or buckie