cowrie


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Related to cowrie: 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
, 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 ?
This world of powerful female mythology accessible through Paneke's talkstory surrounds Cowrie and awakens her to the potential for survival and her own creative energy.
But by the second part of the nineteenth century, one had to pay a thousand cowries for a similar purchase.
After they've moved closer to the terminal, Cowrie and Kuini drag the youth into the bushes and tend to his wounds.
Most are tiny, but they include varieties such as cowries that you might not expect to find in European waters.
Cowrie staggers over to the hose to douse her face with cold water.
The hemline of her dress is decorated with silk ribbon, metal sequins, and cowrie shells.
Yoruba priest and scholar John Mason established the show's traditional Yoruba heritage with his cowrie shell-studded altar to the orisha (god) Eshu, situated by the Museum's front door.
The rectangular cavity in the belly, considered to be the center of power, was probably covered with a large, white cowrie shell or a mirror which deflected evil forces.
14), both at Smart Araneta Coliseum-the newly opened Hukad sa Golden Cowrie in TriNoma is worth a try.