Our animals

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Select species

Select a species to read more


Corkwing wrasse

Corkwing wrasse

Ballan wrasse

Ballan wrasse

Cuckoo wrasse

Cuckoo wrasse

Cuckoo wrasse

Cuckoo wrasse

Goldsinny-wrasse

Goldsinny-wrasse

Three-spined stickleback

Three-spined stickleback

Lumpsucker

Lumpsucker

Tadpole fish

Tadpole fish

Topknot

Topknot

Greater weever

Greater weever

Eelpout

Eelpout

Shorthorn sculpin

Shorthorn sculpin

Green crab

Green crab

Edible crab

Edible crab

Common starfish

Common starfish

Edible sea urchin

Edible sea urchin

Dahlia anemone

Dahlia anemone

Plumose sea anemone

Plumose sea anemone

Common whelk

Common whelk

Common whelk

Common whelk

Facts

LatinBuccinum undatum
Size10 cm
FoodBottom-dwelling animals
HabitatSandy and muddy bottom
IUCN

Not evaluated

LocationNorth Atlantic
Map

A predator

The common whelk is a predator. It encircles its prey, such as bivalves, with its broad foot. It then extends its mouth and drills holes in the shell using its tongue-like radula 'teeth'. The common whelk also uses its shell to pry open a bivalve's shell or it eats carrion fish found in fish nets.

A shell that grows

The shell grows at the edge of the opening. The older the common whelk is, the bigger its shell becomes. The shell is whorled because more lime is deposited on one side than the other. On a newly hatched common whelk, the shell looks like a cap.

Eggs and young

You can find the common whelk's eggs on the beach. During summer, females lay their eggs in large clumps. There are around 15,000 coin-shaped egg capsules, each of which contains 500-3,000 eggs. The eggs are washed up onto the beach.

Find a common whelk

You can find the ordinary common whelk at the muddy or sandy bottoms in shallow water and at depths down to 180 meters. You can also find the remains of dead common whelks on the beach.


Sandy bottom

Eelgrass in the Sound

Faroese bird cliff

Seaotter

Pacific octopus

Red king crab

American lobster