I was out today surveying for ‘queen’ conch, what we just used to call conch around here, when I came across two ‘queen helmet’, which we used to call ‘queen conch’, before we got internationalised, in about 5 minutes of each other. What makes this a big deal is that it feels like I can go years without seeing one of these. So I was pretty excited. The person with me, not so much. I was especially happy with the first one, which was crawling around on the grass (more like a snail, with a big soft body, having only a tiny ‘claw’, than a conch, which ‘hops’ along by digging its big claw in to the ground and pulling itself forwards in a jumps) and had a lot of its body out of the shell – and didn’t retreat even after we took pictures and everything. The second one was just rucked down in the sand, which was still kind of cool.
These surpassed the highlight of the morning, which was finding a big live pen shell sticking up out of the sand. With a little fish sheltering suspiciously by it. Indeed, when I got close the fish took shelter inside the shell. Again, very cool. (I was nice enough not to keep harassing them to see what would happen if the shell closed up. Probably nothing I expect.)