Dear Mrs. Avril Bourquin,

Thank you for replying to my email. I have published only limited information on this fossil specimen by request of the owner. I know that the information that I provided in the Internet Hawaiian Shells News is very sparce. I hope that you will accept the very same information as I published earlier?



By Richard Salisbury

I have recently received on loan an incredible fossil shell which I call the Crystal Snail. It is reportedly from Palau Islands.

The shell appears to be composed of the same material you see in caves? I am not a geologist so don’t know for sure what it is. I am also confused by the sculpture on the shell. It does not appear to be an internal cast but appears to be the entire shell preserved? Nor do I know if this is a fresh water snail or a Marine Gastropod? The sculpture is similar to some species of Turben shells yet it could also be a fresh water snail with raised spiral cords. Shell size: width, 25.95 mm, height, 23.58 mm and aperture width, 12.75 mm.

Does anyone have any information on shells like this collected from Palau? Any ideas as to the identification of this fossil species? I can’t send the shell on loan as I mentioned it is on loan to me. The best I can do is provide the images herein.

My main interest is in finding someone who has seen fossil specimens from Palau that are similar. I know that with digital images on the internet it is very difficult for someone to identify this fossil and what it is composed of. So I hope only to create some interest in what I am calling the crystal snail.
I am attaching the original 5 images I have taken of this specimen.

Sincerely Yours, Richard Salisbury

Email: Richard



The mystery Crystal snail is sinply the early, coiled part of Magilus antiquus, Fam. Coralliophilidae. This part is at a later stage always filled with the same material of which the non-coiled part of the shell is made. Best regards, ...Henk K. M.