Whelks existed on Earth before the dinosaurs. A species of very large predatory sea snail, Whelks are thought to be protandric hermaphrodites; this means that they start out as males when young, and then change into
females as they grow older. This phenomenon may lead to a preponderance of females among the older and larger sized individuals in the population.
up to 305 mm
up to 40 years
Native to the North Atlantic coast of North America from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to northern Florida. The knobbed whelk lives subtidally and is migratory, alternating between deep and shallow water, depending on the time of year. During the weather extremes of the summer and winter months, these sea snails live in deep water, at depths of up to 48 m. In the milder weather of the spring and fall they live in shallow water, on near-shore or intertidal mud flats and sand flats. On the shallow-water mud flats whelks prey on oysters, clams, and other marine bivalves.
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Images by JoshuaDavisPhotography. COM - Conch Shell 2 from Flickr. Cropped 1:1 by User:Snek01., CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8270540
By Pete - originally posted to Flickr as beach stuff, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7247362