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Posted by Amanda Hicks on Monday, September 18th, 2017 at 2:43pm.

As you walk down the beach on Singer Island, you'll surely find a shiny little shell that catches your eye and you'll probably pick it up and put it in your pocket. Since the Florida coastline is riddled with beautiful sea shells, some locals make collecting them a hobby (called shelling). You can make crafts with shells, use them for household decorations, thread them on a necklace- pretty much anything you can think to create. The most common shells on Florida beaches are the Rose Murex, Florida Fighting Conch, Florida Cone, Tiny Dwarf Olive, Pear Whelk, and the True Tulip, pictured below in order. 

Shells come and go depending on conditions such as tide, current, and wind, so there isn't necessarily a "best" beach to find shells at. If you want to go shelling, you should go an hour before to an hour after low tide. Low tide occurs twice a day and the a.m. low is often better for shells than the p.m. low because many mollusks feed at night leaving more shells on the beach in the morning. Full and new moons cause more dramatic low tides so those phases are also good times to go as well as after storms when the shells are stirred up from the sand. 
There are 356 different types of shells in the Palm Beach County area. Sometimes you can find very rare ones and it becomes exciting to try to find more. On Singer Island, you'll also find sharks teeth, and dead sea urchins and sanddollars. Next time you go shelling and find a cool piece, send it to family living out of state as a souvenir to remind them you're thinking of them. We're lucky to live right on the coast and have these little gifts from the ocean to share!

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