by SC Publisher Shannen Hayes, photo provided
Gordon VerMeulen of Grand Rapids, Mich., found a perfect Junonia shell at 8:35 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 8, on the beach of South Seas Island Resort, Captiva. He said it was an “incredible experience” and couldn’t believe he found such a rare shell on the last day of his visit.
The types of shells that can be readily found on the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva come from animals that live close to shore. The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum found through its extensive research Junonia sea snail lives miles offshore, in water between 30 and 130 meters deep. So it’s very rare for the waves to roll them all the way to the beach without being damaged.