Pelican's foot

Pelican's foot is a common sea snail in the North sea and East Atlantic coast. Here it lives at an depth from 10 meter to a 100 meter below sea level. Pelican's foot eats plant debris, feeding when buried in the sediment and when on the surface.

Dog whelk on the left, Pelican's foot and European painted top shell or Calliostoma zizyphinum and the northern cowrie or Trivia Arctica. from the Book :"year at the shore", from: P.H. Gosse.

The shell consists of up to 8-10 whorls which have blunt knobs The shell also has a outer lip of the aperture that somewhere looks the webbed foot of a pelican, although this can only be seen by mature snails. It has some spines on it, probably as a defence against crabs.

Pelican's foot on the beach

The empty shells do sometimes wash up on beaches. Mostly the spines already have disappeared.

Pelican's foot shell inhabitants

If the sea snail dies, its empty shell will sometimes get occupied by the the peanut worm or Phascolion strombus or more often by a hermit crab.

Whelks, Periwinkles and limpets on an illustration of P. Kuckuck.
1 European Sting Winkle or Murex erinaceus or Ocenebra erinacea
2 Common Whelk or Buccinum undatum with eggs
3 Purple Sea Snail or Dog Whelk or Purpura lapillus with eggs
4 netted dog whelk or Nassa reticulata
5 pelican's foot or Aporrhais pespelecani
6 the large necklace shell or Euspira catena or Natica catena with house
7 Common Turret-Shell or Turritella communis
8 Common Wentletrap or Scalaria communis or Epitonium clathrum
9 Common or Edible periwinkle or Littorina littorea
10 Flat Periwinkle or Littorina obtusata
11 rough periwinkle or Littorina saxatilis
12northern lacuna or Lacuna vincta
13 Grey Top Shell or Gibbula cineraria
14European Painted Top Shell or Calliostoma zizyphinum
15Blue-rayed Limpet or Patella pellucida
16 Common Limpet or Patella vulgata
17 Grey Chiton or Lepidochitona cinerea

P. Kuckuck

Dr Paul Kuckuck is the writer of the book "Der Strandwanderer". The first edition started in 1905, the last one in 1977.
On this website you can find these illustrations :
the sea slater
light-bulb tunicate
Whelks, limpets and periwinkles
Sponges and sea anemones
sea beech
teredo worm or shipworm

sea-lettuce or ulva