Vishnu Laxmi Shankh
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Description : Intimately associated with the salagramas are the sacred conch-shells known as samkhas, which are also geological and biological specimens of great antiquity. Like the salagramas which are ammonite fossils, the samkhas are marine fossil remains of the large gastropods (stomach footed), especially ‘strombus gigas’. They are shells of bivalve mollusc (conchifera division of the molluscs). Molluscs are animals of the sea-shore, with soft bodies devoid of any bones but having hard shells. The gastropods crawl along on a broad foot (viz., stomachs) carrying shells on their bodies; and into these shells they pull themselves when threatened. Different molluscs have different plans in making their shells, like the moon-shells, cowry-shells, tooth-shells and ordinary bivalves (Lamelli-branchiata) like oysters. Conchifera (the spiral prominent mussels (cavities), with conchi-spires on the outside.