animals that have shells

10 Sea Animals With Shells (With Pictures)

I frequently get asked, “are there sea animals with shells?” Yes, there are plenty of sea creatures with shells which we have compiled in this article.

The ocean is home to many sea creatures, from the largest whales to the smallest shrimp. Among these creatures are many species of animals that have shells, providing protection and camouflage. 

From colorful sea snails to giant clams, let’s take a closer look at some fascinating sea animals with shells. Read on to learn more about our findings!

Read Also: List Of Animals With Shells (With Pictures)

What is a shell made of?

A shell is a hard structure made by an animal to grow and protect itself. The most common shell type is found on mussels and other water-dwelling creatures like fish. 

These shells are usually made of calcium carbonate. They could be smooth, pointy or even spiky, depending on the species of the animal.

Shells come in all shapes and sizes, but they all provide protection from predators and also help keep the animal inside safe from harm.

Shells can be found in many different areas, such as along the edge of a river or lake surface or even deep within the sea where pearl-producing mollusks live their lives.

They provide vital protection for animals living in these areas since their shells act as a covering to protect them from any danger they may encounter while searching for food or shelter.

Overall, shells are essential for aquatic animals and provide them with a secure area to inhabit and vital protection from potential environmental threats.

Names of Sea Animals With Shells

When you think of the ocean, you might think of its vastness, the expanse of the deep blue sea and the diverse array of creatures living within it.

Here we’ll look at some of the most common and well-known names of sea animals with shells.

1. Pistol Shrimp

Sea Animals With Shells

The Tiger Pistol Shrimp is a species belonging to the genus Alpheus. Its scientific name is Alpheus bellulus, found in tropical waters of the Indo-West Pacific area. 

It has an asymmetrical shell and two asymmetrical claws that catch prey. The shrimp’s body is stout and opaque, usually ranging from 4 to 5 cm in size.

The Tiger Pistol Shrimp is a carnivore, mainly consuming small crabs, fish eggs and other invertebrates on the sea floor. The larger claw generates a powerful shock wave that stuns its prey, making it easier for the shrimp to catch and consume.

To generate this shock wave, the shrimp will snap its large claw shut as quickly as possible, creating a cavitation bubble that emits sound waves when it implodes.

Despite their small size and fierce-looking claws, Tiger Pistol Shrimps are harmless to humans and make excellent additions to any home aquarium. They are very popular in the marine hobbyist community due to their unique physical features and interesting behavior.

2. Barnacles

ocean bernacle

Barnacles are a group of marine crustaceans comprised of more than 1,200 species. They are from the scientific class Cirripedia and typically live in shallow and tidal waters such as oceans, seas, and estuaries.

Barnacles are most commonly known for their hard shells, which usually form a cone shape. Still, the shape and size of the shell and even the number of plates can vary from species to species. The color of the barnacle can also vary from white, yellow, pink, and brown, depending on the species.

Barnacles have a unique way of consuming their food. Instead of using their mouths, they have modified legs called cirri which they use to capture tiny particles of food suspended in the water. Then the food particles are passed to the mouth and digested.

Barnacles are considered to be filter feeders in the marine ecosystem. They are known to consume plankton, algae, and even small fish. 

This helps maintain the balance of the surrounding environment as they help to remove food particles that other species would not be able to consume.

Barnacles also can attach themselves to almost any surface, from docks and ships to whales, turtles, and even other barnacles. This allows them to survive in areas where food is scarce, making them incredibly resilient.

Read Also: Animals With Black Eyes: 10 Animals With Pictures

3. Clam

Sea Animals that have Shells

Clams, scientifically known as Bivalvia, belong to the class of bivalve mollusks. Clams are small yet powerful creatures that live as infauna, meaning they live buried in the substrate of the sea floor. 

Clams have two shells of equal size and are connected by two adductor muscles. 

These shells comprise two layers of calcareous materials; the outer layer is periostracum, and the inner layer is called the prismatic layer. 

Clams also have a powerful burrowing foot, which is used for digging and helps them to bury themselves in the sea floor. Clams are found in freshwater and marine environments and can be seen in shallow waters, bays, and estuaries. 

Clams have a digestive, circulatory, and nervous system, heart, kidney, and stomach. The nervous system comprises two pairs of ganglia near the adductor muscles and is responsible for their mobility and behavior. 

The heart pumps hemolymph, and the kidney helps regulate the salt and nitrogen levels in their bodies. The stomach helps digestion and is connected to the mouth by the throat. Clams use their gills to filter and obtain oxygen and food particles. 

Clams are omnivores, meaning they will consume both animals and plants. They feed on plankton, algae, and other small particles. 

Clams are an important part of the marine food chain and provide an important food source for other marine creatures such as fish, birds, and crabs.

4. Krill

Sea Animals With Shells

Krill, the scientific name for Euphausiacea, is a small but powerful creature in the ocean. This Norwegian word is derived from “krill,” meaning “small fry of fish.”

Krill are crustaceans with a chitinous external skeleton or shell that protects the internal organs and keeps the animal safe. They usually grow to a maximum size of 2.4 inches and feed on phytoplankton and zooplankton.

Krill are an important food source for many marine animals, including dolphins, whales, and sea birds. They are filter feeders, meaning they strain their food from the water. 

Krill are an important part of the marine food chain, converting plankton into energy for higher trophic organisms.

Additionally, krill have been found to positively affect our climate, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Krills are essential for the health of our oceans and the species that inhabit them. Krills are an incredibly active and important species considering their size and environmental contribution.

5. American Lobster


American Lobsters, scientifically known as Homarus americanus, is one of the most sought-after seafood delicacies in the United States. 

These large, hard-shelled creatures can be found along the Atlantic coast and parts of the Gulf of Mexico, as well as in the waters off Canada’s Pacific coast. Not only are they delicious seafood options, but they also play an important role in the ocean’s ecosystem.

American lobsters are typically dark greenish-brown, with light-colored spots along the sides of their bodies. They have two large claws, one of which is used for crushing and tearing apart food, while the other is used for defense. Their bodies are covered in a hard exoskeleton that protects them from predators.

When it comes to their diet, American lobsters are scavengers, which means they eat whatever they can find. This includes clams, fish, crabs, and other shellfish. They also feed on algae, which helps keep the ocean’s health in check.

 Lobsters are also a popular choice for seafood restaurants, as they are a decadent, flavorful, and richly textured dish and tend to grow throughout their lives.

6. Scallops


Scallops are a type of shellfish belonging to the scientific family Pectinidae. They have an oval-shaped shell with white-pinkish colored flesh. 

Scallops are usually found in shallow waters and can be harvested from the sea floor. Scallops have more than 200 eyes around their mantle.

They are highly valued as seafood due to their mild flavor and firm texture. Scallops can be prepared in many ways, such as steaming, sautéing, grilling, baking, or even deep-frying.

7. Japanese Spider Crabs

Japanese spider crab

These incredible creatures have the scientific name Macrocheira kaempferi, and they’re some of the most unique and awe-inspiring creatures on the planet. 

The Japanese Spider Crab is impressive, with its carapace measuring up to 16 inches in diameter. Its armored exoskeleton helps to protect it from predators. 

It is also covered with spines that can reach up to 8 inches in length. The limbs of this species are also equipped with claws that can measure up to 9 inches in length.

The Japanese Spider Crab is a unique species that has adapted to its environment in many ways. For example, it undergoes an intense molting process every 100 minutes to shed its old, hardened shell and grow a larger one. 

This process also helps it replace its claws and spines, reaching up to 12 inches in length after completing the molting process.

This species of crab is not only impressive due to its size and armored exoskeleton but also due to its impressive lifespan. The Japanese Spider Crab can live up to 100 years and is often found in the deep ocean waters of Japan.

8. Oyster

Oysters, scientifically known as Ostreidae, are self-reproducing creatures found in saltwater and freshwater. They are bivalve mollusks, meaning they have two shells. Oysters can fertilize their eggs, making them incredibly unique and fascinating.

There are several oyster species, each with unique characteristics and attributes. Some oysters are known to be quite large, and some are quite small in size, while other oysters have different kinds of shells that can be shaped differently.

They are also known to be quite sustainable, as they can reproduce themselves, making them a great addition to a healthy diet.

9. Chitons (Scientific Name Polyplacophora)


Some of the larger species can reach up to 43 inches long, while the smallest can be less than five inches long. 

There are over 1,000 known species of chiton in the world, and they can be found in all sorts of ocean habitats, from the deep sea to shallow waters.

Chitons are made up of eight separate plates that make up the shell, and these plates are arranged in a pattern that helps them move. 

Chitons also have large flat foot that allows them to crawl across the ocean floor. This foot is often used to help them cling to rocks or coral, making them difficult to spot.

Chitons are omnivorous, meaning they eat just about anything they can find! They feed on small plants, algae, and even small invertebrates like worms and mollusks. Chitons also have a unique ability to create a mucous net that helps them trap food.

10. Nautilus

sea animals

Nautilus is an ancient species of cephalopod mollusk that has been around for millions of years. Scientific name Nautilidae. These unique creatures are known for their hard shells that cover them, which can grow up to 10 inches in diameter.

Nautiluses can withdraw into their planispiral shells when threatened, which can be used as a defense mechanism.

Nautiluses can survive in the ocean’s depths, even at pressures up to 800 meters. Their shells are split into different chambers, allowing them to maintain the water pressure and remain buoyant. 

Inside these chambers, the Nautilus typically contains around 90 tentacles for feeding and defense. It can also sense chemicals in the water, helping it to locate food or evade predators.

Final Thought: names of sea animals with shells

In conclusion, sea animals with shells have been a fascinating topic of study for many years. 

They have a unique and captivating beauty and have been integral to the marine ecosystem for millions of years. Please share this article if you find it helpful.

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