Angel Wing (Cyrtopleura costata)

SHELL LENGTH: Approximately 5 inches (12.7 cm)

Angel Wings, growing up to five inches in length, are very fragile and are rarely found unbroken on the beach. They are usually white in color, although some are yellow or other darker colors due to being buried in sediment for a long period of time. Approximately 30 spiny, radial ribs cover the shell and are crossed by fainter concentric growth lines. A spoon-shaped appendage projects from the hinge area which is the location where the animals foot muscles once attached to the shell. The foot of this animal is well developed, which enables them to burrow into sediment, where the animal lives from the low tide mark to about 60 feet. Microscopic organisms are obtained for food by siphoning water. Angel Wings are edible.