Tapestry Turban (Turbo petholatus) - ROM2004_861_17

Tapestry turban, Turbo petholatus

Tapestry Turban (Turbo petholatus)

Geography: Phillipines
length=6.75; width=6.0 cm
(measurements are for the largest specimen)
    • Attributes
    • Objects
    • Taxonomy
    • KingdomAnimalia
    • PhylumMollusca
    • ClassGastropoda
    • OrderArchaeogastropoda
    • FamilyTurbinidae
    • GenusTurbo
    • SpecificEpithetpetholatus
Object number: ROMIZ M12437
Not on view
DescriptionThe exterior of the shell of this lovely turban is naturally smooth and extremely variable in colour and pattern. Its interior is an exquisite mother-of-pearl—the iridescent internal layer of a mollusc shell that is used to make decorative objects. The operculum, which covers the shell’s opening when the snail’s body is pulled inside, is very distinctive in Turbo petholatus. Known as a “cat’s eye”, the operculum has a beautiful blue-green glossy finish. Like a shell, this structure contains calcareous deposits (containing calcium carbonate or calcite) and remains intact when the snail dies, often washing up on beaches. During the second World War, many American soldiers stationed in the Pacific created rings and jewellery from the operculum of Turbo petholatus. Like many other turbans, this species is edible and is an ingredient of a tasty shellfish stew. The tapestry turban is plentiful in many parts of the southwest Pacific and as far north as southern Japan. It is found in shallow water on coral reefs and reaches 6 cm in length.
Browse Categories:Invertebrates
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