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Murex - Pterynotus Lightbourni.

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This was the first shell named after dad and new to science. There were only three known all collected in deepwater traps from roughly 200 fathoms 1200 feet. One was sent to the Smithsonian institute for identification, one was at the Delaware museum and the other in dad's home. The local newspaper wanted to do an article and a photographer took the shell to one of the beaches and proceeded to get shots near the tidal mark. As we were told later, a stronger wave broke , the tidal surge came swiftly up the beach and bingo.........SHELL DISAPPEARED!!!
The photographer and helper were devastated and spent an hour or so looking in the surf but the shell was lost! Well I won't tell you any more except it was 2 years before dad found another good one and his seething relaxed!! The photographer is on display at the Smithsonian behind bullet proof glass.(OK I just made the last part up, but the rest was true!)


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The more I look at this Murex, the more I admire it. It has to be one of the most beautiful shells in existence.

I know, Robbie. No lawsuit can replace the shell he lost. I've never sued anyone, but I would be sorely tempted to teach that idiot a painful lesson.


Yes that's right Heidi, the damage was done and we don't believe in lawsuits here as much as in other places. All worked out in the end, thanks.


I would have been furious at that newspaper photographer. It's cause for a lawsuit to teach the photographer to be more careful of handling valuable objects that don't belong to him.


I had no problem with the word ''pulchra''. One of the cowries in my collection is Cypraea pulchra... aka Beautiful Cowrie.


Thanks a lot healer.


Robbie, that was an amazing story, and kudos to your Dad for his self controll!
The shell is beautiful, and what an honor to have it named after your Father.


You're welcome Hanne, it sure is.


WOW what a beauty!! Thanks so very much Robbie!!


But of course he is Lela!

Hi Jana, you're welcome and thanks.


She's beautiful, thank you Robbie for the beautiful pictures and interesting story :-))))


(He is just mimicking my perfect way of saying things - clearly and concisely!)......


Hi niccolino, yes it is difficult to determine size when showing single shells like this, thanks very much.

Hi kitten, yes it is, thanks a lot.

Yes Dobbie mate, we cannot forget yours too, as well, blah, blah blah!!!! Thanks hee hee.

Ha ha gem, caught him out!

You're welcome Rob, thanks.


WOW! great shell, great story behind it!!! thanks Robbie.

gemstone just gave yourself away! :DDD


There are also my two, too, as well, in addition.......

Robbie....this is a beauty of a shell. What excitement to have this bit of history in your family with such an heirloom rareity. Thank you for sharing.


What a story - and what a beautiful shell. It's hard to believe it's so small as it looks like one of those realy big ones! So glad all was well in the end.


Hey mate, no it will never see another beach in my lifetime!! Thanks PG.

Actually Shirley I think they crossed paths a few years later and all was well. I believe there are 6 or so of these shells now, all found by dad and Arthur. Thanks.

Very good idea Ardy, thanks very much.


A great honor to have something so beautiful named for you. What a tragic happening. So glad he finally got another one. If anyone ever even thinks of photographing a shell on the beach, have them bring a box of sand to the shell. Thanks for sharing this one and its story.


Thank you so much for sharing this magnificent shell,Robbie, how proud your Dad must be to have this named after him, better he forget the terrible lost of the original one , and don't speak of that photographer every again.


What self control that he allowed the photographer to live. I most likely would not have been so kind. Lovely shell and I bet it has not been out to be photographed on the beach yet.


Hi YO, yes never turn your back. Well water under the bridge now, thanks.

Glad you liked it PK, thanks.

Hi snooker, yes well probably a good idea he showed restraint, thanks.

Heh heh Trish, if he had been there...........MAYBE!! You are right about the angel, thanks.


the ocean giveth, and the ocean taketh away. they would never find the body. heh, heh!

BTW, your diminutive, yet dazzlingly pulchritudinous shell takes one's breath away. it rather reminds me of an angel. Merci, ma'am!

Such a dainty shell. Beautiful. The media is expendable so your dad could have disposed of the photographer. :)


Awesome thanks Robbie

Beautiful shell Robbie. Great story. First rule: Never turn your back on the ocean---ever. I agree with jcarroll and plumpossum


Hey Celeste, good to see you, thanks.


Wow so cool Robbie


Hi PKH, I had to scroll out and look up pulchra! Yes you are right and thanks.

Thank you gnt.

Well thank you both lajuin, glad you enjoyed it.

Hey that is good gem, but others call the shots, thanks.


Hi Trish, it was not a good time to cross him , we all tread very lightly for a while. Thanks.

Thanks Buck, glad you enjoyed it.

Hey mate, I saw Dobbielotus written up somewhere.............Cannot recall where specifically but what an honour, thanks.

Now that I recollect JC, I believe it was a she and dad was tempted to bring the bow and arrows out!! Luckily he cooled down, thanks.

Hi PPM, yes many thoughts like that went through his mind, thanks.

Oh you can be sure of that Francine, thanks.


Hi lyndee, so are we, thanks.

Thanks GS, glad you like it.

Hi EF, thanks a lot.

Hi miz, glad you enjoyed it, thanks.

Thanks file, I am, the shell is small only about 2" long.


Oooh, beautiful shell...I would have called Lightbourn's looks so delicate. :D


Hi Robbie - e-mailed to a friend and this is her reply:

Funny story, J. Really chuckled. Thanks - gorgeous shell. ... D

Tis a gorgeous shell - Thanks for showing us.


beautiful shell Robbiel


pulchra specimen!!!


Terrible! We can probably assume your father never lent a shell again.


Exquisite shell, by the way.


If I had been in your dad's place, I think I would have strangled that photographer and thrown him into the ocean.


In a case like that, Robbie, it is perfectly reasonable to shoot and stuff the photographer and put him at the entrance as a warning to others. (I don't think a jury could ever convict your father!)


I have a couple of these, named Dobbielotus Lighthousii...........(after me)......


That is a fantastic specimen! And a real hair-raising story (I like your ending...)! Thanks Robbie.


Wow Robbiel! that is an awesome story and shell. (i do not have one of these! ;) (and i am not a real collector, just happen to have lots of shells around the house) I can't imagine how devastating it must have been for him to loose such a precious prize. glad he found another, a bit of solace, but i am glad that glass is bullet proof! ;)


To have a sea shell so rare and beautiful to be named after your father must make you so proud! It is so perfect! How big is it?


It is so beautiful and the story is so interesting ,thank you Robbiel !


What a great story and a shell to match it!
Love the set. Thanks.


How wonderful that a shell was named after your Dad, and it is a beauty. Love the story and elaboration too Robbie! Thanks.


Enjoyed your story Robbie. It's a beautiful shell and I'm glad your dad was able to find another.