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South Carolina Symbols
American Folk Dance, Amphibian, Animal, Beverage, Bird, Botanical Garden, Butterfly, Dance, Dog, Duck, Fish, Flag, Flower, Folk Art and Crafts Center, Fruit, Gemstone, Grass, Hall of Fame, Heritage Horse, Heritage Work Animal, Hospitality Beverage, Insect, Language, Marine Mammal, Migratory Marine Mammal, Military Academy, Motto, Music, Nicknames, Opera, Pledge to State Flag, Poet Laureate, Popular Music, Railroad Museum, Reptile, Rural Drama Center, Sea Turtle, Seal, Shell, Snack Food, Song (Carolina,) Song (South Carolina on My Mind,) Spider, Stone, Tapestry, Tartan, Tobacco Museum, Tree, Waltz, Wildflower, Wild Game Bird
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.
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.
Lettered Olive Taxonomic Hierarchy
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