Posting obervations of seashells

I will be going to the seashore in a few months and I’m wondering if posting pictures of seashells is ok. I mean there isn’t life, but there was once lived in them.


I think its perfectly fine to do so. I have a few observations of bivalves and the like. eg.

Subtle differences in the shell colours, patterns, textures etc can help to distinguish different species I think.


Absolutely fine - as are eggshells, nests, dead plants, animal tracks, scat, snakeskins - all recent evidence of an organism.


It helps a lot to get photos of both sides.


absolutely. just like its okay to post bones. obviously only post shells that you find in the wild, or mark tourist store shells as captive/cultivated if you do post them. but yeah thats totally valid, i try to do it every time im at a beach.

try to get detailed pictures, multiple angles.


Oh, I forgot bones in my list. Agree!

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I record empty shells regularly. Sometimes a hermit crab might’ve taken up residence inside, especially if the shell is in a rock pool, so you can add the crab obs as well :-)

If you record the shell species (no animal inside), you can add the Observation Field: ‘Animal Sign and Song’ and choose shell/exoskeleton from the drop down list.


Not only do I post thousands of iNaturalist observations of empty seashells, but I have published many papers in malacological journals based entirely or almost entirely on empty shells.

When on a beach, also be sure to make observations of all the different seaweeds, crab shells, and whatever else you can find that has washed up.



Thank you all!

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