These empty shells of the Common Whelk, Buccinum undatum L., were originally lying randomly on the sandy strandline at Whiteford in Gower. I photographed this arrangement on a layer of fine beach gravel because I liked the complementary colours and contrasting textures. The natural sculpturing of growth lines, ridges, and grooves on the whorls of this gastropod mollusc shell are emphasised by the dark hues. In natural sunlight the black staining looked almost navy blue. The dark colour has been acquired by a period of burial deep in the beach sediments.


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