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Georgia State Seashell (Knobbed Whelk)

Photographs and Links with Information on Georgia’s State Seashell - the Knobbed Whelk (Busycon carica).

Photo and general information (Chesapeake Bay Program)
Drawing and narrative description (Enchanted Learning)

1987 Joint Resolution Declaring Knobbed Whelk as Georgia’s Official State Seashell:

  Joint Resolution of the Georgia General Assembly

  Apr. 16, 1987






  No. 42 (House Resolution No. 130).


Designating the Knobbed Whelk as the official state seashell; and for other purposes.

WHEREAS, the state has many official symbols but does not yet have a state seashell; and

WHEREAS, Busycon carica, commonly known as the Knobbed Whelk, is found naturally in the coastal waters of Georgia; and

WHEREAS, this beautiful shell is commonly found all along Georgia’s shoreline; and

WHEREAS, this shell is an attractive, whorled shell with heavy spines and many knobs and has a semiglossy surface characterized by ocher striations resulting from the minerals present in the coastal waters of Georgia and an orange to red mouth; and

WHEREAS, the Knobbed Whelk is approximately eight inches long when fully mature and is found from the shoreline to 30 feet of water; and

WHEREAS, designating a state seashell will encourage citizens of the state and visitors alike to visit the beautiful beaches and coastal waters of the state.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA that the Knobbed Whelk, Busycon carica, is designated as the official Georgia seashell.

Approved April 16, 1987.

Source: Ga. Laws 1987, p. 1130.

Georgia State Seashell (Knobbed Whelk) View large image

Knobbed Whelk
Source: Ed Jackson

Georgia State Seashell (Knobbed Whelk) View large image

Photo with living animal inside
Source: Courtney McGough