Even unsuspected mussels like the “sea snails” can become miraculous producers of rare and beautiful pearls: the Bursidae ones, even if they have earned the surname “toad shells” thanks to the bumps on their surfaces, can’t be judged only by their aspect because they could hide a big treasure inside themeselves.

Their develope is pretty singular and consists in the very true creation of its shell like the construction a house; all these seashells have peculiar syphons protruding form the spiral base of the case, which are no more then temporary accomodations that the mussel had inside the shell itself while it was on construction.

The same syphons show the developement periods of the invertebrate and, depending on their position, which side of the shell is under construction too; these growth periods are quiet times for the mussel, which prefers to hide itself in safe places as long as the shell isn’t completely formed and thickened.

Even if these specimens appear as fragile creature from their way formation, they know exactly how to protect themeself and, like newts, the toad shells possess particular acid secretions to paralize their prey; they finally can be found both in shallow and deep waters, usually covered with algae and other organisms.

The pearls produced by this type of mussel have different colors which can go from cream, light pink to strong orange thanks to the internal conformation of the shell itself; since this invertebrate is not capable to produce mother-of-pearl, these rare and precious pearls are made of chalky material, which does not affect their beauty and value at all.


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