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A seashell or sea shell is a hard, protective outer layer created by an animal that lives in the sea. The shell is part of the body of the animal. Empty seashells are often found washed up on beaches by beachcombers. The shells are empty because the animal has died and the soft parts have been eaten by another animal or have rotted out.

The term seashell usually refers to the exoskeleton of an invertebrate (an animal without a backbone), and is typically composed of calcium carbonate or chitin. Most shells that are found on beaches are the shells of marine mollusks, partly because these shells are usually made of calcium carbonate, and endure better than shells made of chitin.

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Additional Photos by Daniel Draghici (dkmurphys) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5653 W: 83 N: 11118] (75074)
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