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South Carolina State Shell
Adopted in 1984.
The Lettered Olive, (Oliva sayana,) was designated the official shell of the State by Act No. 360, 1984.
Dr. Edmund Ravenel of Charleston, South Carolina, an early pioneer in concholgy, found and named the Lettered Olive shell which is quite prolific along the South Carolina Coast.
South Carolina State Shell: Lettered Olive
Shells of the family Olividae tend to be cylindrical, smooth and shiny, and variously patterned with numerous fine wrinkles. The lettered olive is an attractive cream or tan colored shell with 5 or 6 whorls and distinct suturing. The spire is fairly low; the aperture is long, smooth, and without teeth; and, the columella shows folds. Like many gastropods, these molluscs maintain a highly polished shell, by pulling their mantle flaps over the exposed surface. Many specimens have purple zigzag patterns and purple outer lips. Olives are approximately 66mm in length and 20mm wide.
South Carolina State by Act No. 360, 1984.
(A360, R410, S735)
The South Carolina Code of Laws, title 1, chapter 1, article 9, section 1-1-695.
Title 1 - Administration of the Government
A seashell or sea shell, also known simply as a 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.