cowrie

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Related to cowry: money cowrie

cowrie

or

cowry

(both: kou`rē), common name applied to marine gastropods belonging to the family Cypraeidae, a well-developed family of marine snails found in the tropics. Cowries are abundant in the Indian Ocean, particularly in the East Indies and the Maldive Islands. Species of cowries inhabit the waters around S California and the warm waters southward from the SE United States. They characteristically have massive, smooth, shiny shells with striking patterns and colors. The upper surface is round and the lower flat. When alive, the cowrie's shell is usually concealed by its large mantle; as the cowrie creeps along the ocean bottom, the mantle envelops the shell. As the body grows, the inner whorls of the shell are dissolved, and the dissolved lime is then used to enlarge the outer whorl of the shell. Some shells have been used for money, e.g., those of the money cowrie, Cypraea moneta. The shells of various species are used also for personal adornment and in some primitive cultures indicate the rank of the wearer. The smooth brown cowrie, Cypraea spadicea, inhabits the protected outer coast and mud flats in S California, often as far north as Newport, Calif. The most prized cowrie for a shell collector is the tiger cowrie, Cypraea tigris, which grows to 4 in. (10 cm) in length and whose shell is considered by some to be the most lustrous shell of the South Pacific. Having the appearance of a tiger skin, it is white with many brown spots. Cowries are classified in the phylum MolluscaMollusca
, taxonomic name for the one of the largest phyla of invertebrate animals (Arthropoda is the largest) comprising more than 50,000 living mollusk species and about 35,000 fossil species dating back to the Cambrian period.
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, class Gastropoda, order Mesogastropoda, family Cypraeidae.

cowrie

, cowry
1. any marine gastropod mollusc of the mostly tropical family Cypraeidae, having a glossy brightly marked shell with an elongated opening
2. the shell of any of these molluscs, esp the shell of Cypraea moneta (money cowry), used as money in parts of Africa and S Asia
References in periodicals archive ?
In addition, the phenotypic character of the morphology of the gold ring cowry shell is greatly influenced by the environmental factors in which they live [36].
The common-garden experiment in this study confirmed that the gold-ringed cowry shows female-biased sexual size dimorphism (SSD) (Fig.
P, I) A young man's cleverness proves an asset when the first king of Dahomey decides to find a queen, but offers for dowry only one paltry cowry shell.
Like gourds, her breasts; hair crosshatched in tight curls bound in a leather band, cowry shells; almond eyes, brows.
98-99) includes some prices in a mysterious denomination ~L', which must be presumed to represent ~[pounds]'; and others are cited in ~oudaas' without warning the reader that this is merely a local word for cowry shells.
Carved porcelain with black interior glaze, adorned with handmade red and silver/gray glass beads, white-heart beads and cowry shells.
Society of others gives no inkling that the Korowai were influenced by the Asmat, with their rich ritual life and their splendid wood carving, or by the Muyu, with their expansive networks of cowry shell transactions.
The middle dancer is wearing a typical traditional dress from the Flathead area, the dress is decorated with cowry shells.
This study explores the use of money: metal, paper or cowry shells, as payment for services rendered rather than goods purchased.
When pressed, Thomas will name a few of his favorites--a harp shell from Madagascar ($13) and a prince cowry from the Philippines (from $700).
The 61-year-old, who is standing for the ruling Cowry Forces for an Emerging Benin (FCBE) party, has been seen since his naming as Boni Yayis chosen successor.