|Today we discuss the beautiful inhabitants of underwater world – shells, corals and other types of exotic fishes, starfishes, crabs and other inhabitants of sea and oceans.
Seashells represent greatest interest, especially from the point of view of practical use and collection. To protect its soft vulnerable body against natural enemies, mollusks secrete a substance, consisting of mainly calcium carbonate and hardening into material, which is similar to marble with respect to solidity. Thanks to solidity, fancy shapes and rich colors, seashells, long since, are not only samples, testifying the uniqueness of nature creation but also served as domestic tools, money, ornaments and subjects of pride to aesthete-collectors. Cutters, scrapers, mattocks, fishing hooks, musical instruments and various ornaments are made out of seashells. Shells are also used as vessels and in several countries, the shells served as money and amulets. Even today, nacre also known as mother-of-pearls, used in the manufacture of buttons, inlays etc, is extracted from shells. Agglomeration of shells formed many sedimentary rocks.
Collecting of seashells is referred to as “conchology” and has an ancient history. If we turn to history, then we can discover that the shells were mainly used as adornments but not as items of collecting. Roman historian Suetonius recounts that Emperor Caligula was one of the first collectors of seashells.
Today we review the wonderful shell - the so-called “Triton’s Trumpet “.
Charonia tritonis - is one of the most known and popular seashells.
A legend in ancient Greek mythology says that Zeus rewarded pan (half-human- half-goat, Greek god of shepherds and flocks, of mountain wilds, hunting and rustic music and later-on god – protector of nature) with Triton’s Trumpet, which made loud sounds, serving as signaling trumpet.
Triton’s Trumpet belongs to type Mollusks, class Gastropoda and order Sorbeoconcha, family Rannelidae.
Triton’s horn can also be called Triton’s Trumpet and Pacific Ocean’s Triton.
Found in tropical zone of Pacific and Indian Oceans and populates coral reefs and shallow waters. Tritons are active predators and feed on starfishes, sea cucumbers, sea urchins and scallops. Triton’s Trumpet feasts on thorny scallops by attacking it and not getting injured by the thorny tenons. Salivary glands of Triton’s Trumpet secrete secretion, containing from 3 to 4 % free sulphuric acid and also (asparagine) aminosuccinamic acid. Aminosuccinamic acid paralyses Crown-of-Thorns and destroys its protective layer which leads to easy work of tooth radula (a serrated, scraping organ).
Some species of same family as Triton do exist – Atlantic Triton (Charonia variegata), Mediterranean Triton (Charonia nodifera) & several insignificant types. But, undoubtedly, Triton’s Trumpet is the foremost amongst the species in regard to beauty and size. It can grow to over 50-60 cm length. Color of Triton is brilliant, diversified, charming and startling with its depth.
As a rule, Triton not only occupies honorary first place in the collection of conchologs but is also a wonderful ornament of any interior, starting from small comfortable hotel and ending with show case of a big trade center.
Triton’s Trumpet – Beauty and pride, "Tsar and God” of underwater kingdom...|