The Tiger Cowrie (Reeve, 1758)
The tiger cowrie is one of the larger cowries, and has been brought back as a souvenir by sailors from all over the world. If the shell is treated with acid, the layer under the shiny black and white spotted pattern of the cowrie is revealed. This layer is purplish, and is often carved and sold in souvenirs shops along beaches all over the world.
Over the last century, many homes had a tiger cowrie shell because housewives used it for darning socks that had holes. The animal that makes the tiger cowrie is a herbivore that lives in very shallow water. Because it can be easily collected in the tropical Pacific, it is one of the most common larger marine snails.