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Mermaid’s Toenails

Another shell, we found along the wrack line of the beach at Sunken Meadow State Park on New York’s Long Island was the delicate Jingle Shell. Jingles have shiny, thin, translucent shells. This organism gets its name from the sound made when the shells bump against each other when strung on a necklace.

These bi-valve mollusks (organisms that have two shells such as the clam) are filter feeders siphoning plankton (single cell organisms) from the sea water. Normally, people only find one of the shells when it comes loose from the side that is attached to the seafloor.

Jingle Shells are also called mermaid’s toenails. The shells look like toenails that have been painted with a gloss coat of nail polish. These shells are fun to collect because they come in several pale colors and can be used in arts and crafts.

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