#298 Aldabra Banded Snail

Critically Endangered

These snails are endemic to one atoll of the Seychelles. In case you do not know, an atoll is a ring shaped coral reef. That might make you think these snails would be underwater sea snails, but they are not. The Aldabra Atoll is essentially a smushed doughnut of an island with a shallow lagoon in the center. There are quite a few giant tortoises that live there, and once there were a lot of these snails. In fact there were more of these than any other species of snail on the atoll. Then there were several years where they did not get enough rain. In 1997 the last live snail was found. After that, and until before 2007, empty shells would be found, though no small ones which made it seem as if they were not reproducing. In 2007 they were declared extinct. Then, there were quite a few found in 2014, including small young ones. One description said their shells were purple with orange, another said they were blue and pink. I opted for a fairly blueish purple and the yellow-orange because of the colour wheel.

We changed our plans this morning. My husband doesn't get to spend time with the boys as much as I do because he works full time. He ended up taking the boys on a hike to look for Augite, a cool looking mineral. This is a picture he texted me. They had pretty good cell service up on top of the mountain. My youngest has a rock and gem hunter's guide for Oregon, and has several places he wants to go and several things he wants to find. We want to go on a meander to find pyrite and one to get obsidian. When you go to some of the places with obsidian they stress that you should bring a spare tire. There is a reason it made good arrowheads, the volcanic glass naturally forms incredibly sharp edges, which it would seem are quite capable of cutting into a tire. One of these days I hope we can get a faceting machine for my youngest, and then maybe I can get him going to places with opals and other precious gemstones. I dream of a day where maybe I use metal clay and make a ring for myself using a gem he has cut for me. It would be an excuse for me to use metal clay, which I really want to do. I also always want to make sure my kids know I support them in their interests.

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