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An abalone is a very large sea snail. Abalones are a different shape to most snails - they have a wide, flat shell. You can still see the spiral shape in their shell. Abalones are caught and eaten as food, and their shells are used to make jewellery.

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I would encourage the students look for shell, and to sketch them in place. Not picking them up, just sketch them as they rest on the sand...even if the water tickles your feet.

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from buy the sea

Graceful Fig Shell

These pretty graceful fig shells have delicate cream and brown markings. ◆ Fig shells belong to the small ficidae group of shells that live in sand within warm tropical seas. ◆ This particular species (Ficus Gracilis) is a common deep water shell founds in seas stretching from Japan to Taiwan. ◆ Size: approx 14 cm long

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Incredible microphotography reveals each grain of sand to be a kaleidoscope of colour and texture that defies its rather bland reputation - Dr Gary Greenberg

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