17 Animals With Shells and Their Pictures

Animals With Shells
Photo by Kai Dahms on Unsplash

Animals with shells are numerous. The presence of shells in these animals serves as a remarkable evolutionary strategy that aids in their survival and enables them to thrive in their respective habitats.

They are a fascinating group of creatures that inhabit various ecosystems on Earth.

Meanwhile, these remarkable organisms possess a unique and distinctive feature—a protective outer layer, commonly known as a shell.

Shells come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, protecting against environmental factors and potential predators. 

Examples of animals with shells encompass a diverse range of species, from the intricate spiral shells of snails to the sturdy armored plates of crabs.

In this article, we will take a look at all the animals with shells.

Read on!

1. Cat Flea

The cat flea, or Ctenocephalides felis in scientific jargon, is one of the animals with shells. It is a microscopic bug that is a member of the family of creatures that have shells.

Even though the flea’s shell may not be as pronounced or stiff as those of other animals, it is nevertheless vital to the flea’s survival and protection of its body.

Cat fleas have a brown shell that serves as a structural support and a line of defense against potential predators. 

Due to their streamlined bodies and robust shells, these fleas are skilled at moving through the fur of their hosts, such as cats and dogs.

While they consume the blood of their hosts, the shell also helps them avoid predators. 

2. African Giant Snail

The African Giant Snail, scientifically known as Achatina fulica, is a fascinating creature with a shell that sets it apart.

Native to East Africa, these large terrestrial gastropods showcase a unique shell with brown coloration and striking black and white stripes.

Growing up to 20 cm in length, the shell is a protective outer layer for the snail, safeguarding it from environmental elements and potential predators.

As herbivores, African Giant Snails primarily feed on leaves, fruits, and vegetables.

With their intriguing shells and distinct appearance, these snails are among the animals with shells that contribute to the diverse array of animals with shells, exemplifying their remarkable natural adaptations.

3. Dublin Bay Prawn

Dublin Bay Prawn
by The Croft is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The interesting Dublin Bay Prawn, scientifically known as Nephrops norvegicus, is a member of the family of animals with shells.

This marine crab, also known as langoustine or Norway lobster, lives in the chilly, gloomy waters off the coast of Ireland. 

A strong shell that protects the Dublin Bay Prawn from predators and the elements is a feature of the species.

It can reach a maximum length of 25 centimeters and has a light green shell with brown patterns.

The Dublin Bay Prawn is an omnivore species that consume a variety of foods, including both plant materials and other small marine invertebrates.

This fascinating organism thrives in its native habitat thanks to its distinctive shell and adaptations, adding to its diversity and beauty.

4. Florida Stone Crab

Florida Stone Crab
by Andrew Reding is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The intriguing critter with a shell is called a Florida Stone Crab; its scientific name is Menippe mercenaria.

This is one of the animals with shells that are found in the waters close to Florida. It depends on the strength of its hard shell to protect it from predators and the environment.

Although the Florida stone crab’s shell can be any color, it is usually light brown or tan. Its dome-shaped construction offers the crab’s body tremendous protection. 

These crabs are renowned for their strong claws, which they employ to crack shells and eat tiny aquatic creatures.

The Florida stone crab is a coveted delicacy in seafood cuisine because it is prized not only for its shell but also for its delectable meat.

5. Hermann’s Tortoise

Hermann's Tortoise
by gailhampshire is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Hermann’s Tortoise is an intriguing animal with a unique shell.

This tortoise species, native to southern Europe and North Africa, has a dome-shaped shell with brown coloring and yellow markings. 

The tortoise’s up to 8-inch-long shell is a vital protection mechanism, shielding it from predators and harsh weather elements. Hermann’s tortoises are herbivores that eat mostly plants.

These tortoises represent the variety of animals with shells, displaying nature’s skill in providing protection and adapting for survival through their unique shells and distinctive look.

6. King Crab

King Crab 
by quinet is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The shell of the intriguing King Crab acts as insulation and protection simultaneously.

The Gulf of Alaska and other deep-water oceanic zones are home to these enormous crustaceans.

King Crabs are large and intimidating, with strong shell that protects them from predators and supports their bodies. 

They can explore the vast ocean and resist extreme weather conditions thanks to the shell, which may expand to be up to 8 inches broad.

They may survive in their chosen settings because it helps cooler waters retain heat.

The shell of the King Crab is a remarkable adaptation that helps it survive and maintain supremacy in the marine habitat.

7. Longhorn Cowfish

The longhorn cowfish is an intriguing fish species recognized for its distinctive shell-like structure.

The Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico are home to this aquatic animal, which has a maximum length of 12 inches.

The Longhorn Cowfish gets its name from the presence of two conspicuous horns on top of its head, distinguishing it from other fish. 

Predators find it challenging to swallow the fish thanks to these horns, which act as a defense against them.

The Longhorn Cowfish is among the unique examples of animals with shells in the underwater environment because of its elaborate shell and intriguing features.

8. Shrimp

by wuestenigel is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The mantis shrimp is a member of the malacostracan family of shelled invertebrates.

The mantis shrimp is well-known for its striking colors and outstanding hunting skills, and it has one of the animal kingdom’s most intricate shells.

The carapace, which covers the head and thorax, the pleura, which shields the belly, and the merus, which is a portion of its strong arms, make up its three-part shell. 

The mantis shrimp’s distinctive shell offers essential defense, enabling it to survive the hardships of its aquatic environment in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

The mantis shrimp is a prime example of the variety and inventiveness found among animals with shells, with its powerful appendages and striking shell.

9. Green Chiton

Green Chiton
by Tasmanian.Kris is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

An intriguing member of the category of creatures with shells is the green chiton.

The Green Chiton, which is found in the temperate waters of New Zealand, is notable for having eight valves or shells.

These shells are essential to the animal’s existence because they shield its soft flesh. 

The Green Chiton, whose tongue resembles teeth and can grow up to 2 inches long, grazes on algae that are developing on rocks.

In the wide world of animals with shells, it stands out thanks to its unusual appearance and green shell.

10. Giant Clam

Giant Clam
by PiktourUK is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The giant clam is among the fascinating marine animals with shells. It is a large sea snail that can reach impressive lengths of up to four feet.

The giant clam inhabits the South Pacific and parts of South Africa. Its shell is a stunning combination of purple and pink hues, often coveted for its beauty and used in jewelry. 

With strong muscles, the giant clam can clamp down on its prey, which includes fish and other clams.

This remarkable creature demonstrates the diversity and uniqueness of animals with shells, captivating scientists and marine life admirers alike.

11. European Lobster

European Lobster
by NatureScot Images is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

An interesting aquatic creature with a gorgeous shell is the gigantic clam.

It is a sizable sea snail that has been known to grow as long as four feet. The South Pacific and areas of South Africa are home to the enormous clam.

It has a shell that is an exquisite blend of purple and pink colors that is much desired for its beauty and is used in jewelry. 

The enormous clam has powerful muscles that allow it to crush its prey, which includes fish and other clams.

This amazing animal fascinates scientists and ocean life enthusiasts since it exemplifies the variety and rarity of organisms with shells.

12. Death’s Head Cockroach

Death's Head Cockroach 
by Ryan Somma is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Death’s Head Cockroach is an insect known for its unique characteristics and distinctive shell.

Scientifically named Blaberus craniifer, this cockroach species is native to Mexico, the West Indies, and Central America. 

Its shell, which covers its body, serves as a protective armor against potential threats and harsh environmental conditions.

The Death’s Head Cockroach is an omnivorous insect, feeding on various organic matter. It inhabits rural areas, forests, and areas near rivers or ponds.

Considered one of the most dangerous cockroach species, it produces a potent toxin when predators like rats, lizards, and snakes threaten it. 

Despite its intimidating appearance and reputation, the Death’s Head Cockroach plays a vital role in the ecosystem, contributing to the decomposition of organic material and serving as a food source for other creatures.

13. Chilean King Crab

Chilean King Crab
by Linda DV is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The interesting Chilean king crab is also among the animals with shells. It has a shell that acts as protection and disguise.

This kind of crab, whose scientific name is Lithodes scintilla, lives in the chilly Pacific Ocean waters. 

It protects itself from predators and the harsh elements of its surroundings with its hard shell, which can range in color from red to green to brown.

The 8-inch-wide shell of the Chilean king crab offers a strong barrier against potential dangers.

This crab travels the ocean floor using its strong exoskeleton, depending on its shell to protect it.

14. Chambered Nautilus

Chambered Nautilus
by matthew.hickey is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The chambered nautilus is an intriguing species among animals with shells that distinguishes it from other creatures.

This cephalopod, which may be found in the western Pacific Ocean, has an unusual means of protection and stunning morphological characteristics.

The chambered nautilus, which may reach a length of 8 inches, lives in the deep ocean. Its chambered shell performs a variety of functions.

The nautilus may control its buoyancy and offer protection by altering the gas-to-fluid ratio inside the chambers. 

The chambered nautilus can produce a cloud of black ink when threatened, which disorients predators and helps it escape.

This amazing creature showcases the variety of animals with shells and the creative ways they adapt to their surroundings.

15. Brown Crab

Brown Crab 
by neydoll is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Brown Crab (scientific name Cancer pagurus) is a fascinating example of an animal with a shell.

This crustacean, commonly found in the North Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, and possibly the Mediterranean Sea, possesses a hard reddish-brown shell as protective armor. 

Ranging from two to six inches wide, the Brown Crab relies on its sturdy shell to shield itself from predators and the challenging marine environment.

Its omnivorous diet allows the Brown Crab to adapt to various food sources, further contributing to its survival.

Whether in saltwater or freshwater habitats, this remarkable creature showcases the diversity and resilience of animals with shells.

16. Argentinian Wood Roach

The animals with shells include the Argentinian Wood Roach, a kind of insect.

On their thorax, these cockroaches have an oval shell that serves as their exterior layer of defense.

Argentinian Wood Roaches normally have brown shells, but depending on the subspecies, they can also be reddish-brown or completely black. 

Even though they have wings, they can’t fly. These omnivorous animals are essential to the environment because they act as scavengers and consume decomposing organic materials.

The Argentinian Wood Roach, which is mostly found in Central and South America, is a perfect example of how different creatures use their shells in different ways to help them survive and adapt to their surroundings.

17. American Dog Tick

American Dog Tick
by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The American Dog Tick, or Dermacentor variabilis as it is known technically, is an insect member of the shelled organisms group.

Eastern North America is a regular habitat for this tick. It can survive in various environments thanks to its durable, protective exterior. 

Unlike other ticks, American Dog Ticks, such as rodents and small mammals, wait for their food by tunneling into the earth.

They attach to neighboring hosts using their front legs and a hypostome, a mouthpart that resembles a needle and is used for blood-sucking when they spot a host.

In addition to serving as a physical defense, the American Dog Tick’s shell is essential to its capacity to survive and flourish in its habitat.


Animals with shells have an astonishing variety of shapes and adaptations that allow them to survive in various habitats.

These shells are proof of the remarkable ingenuity of nature, whether it is the enormous size of the African giant snail or the beautiful designs on the chambered nautilus.

In addition to shedding light on their interesting biology, studying creatures with shells also draws attention to the wonder and intricacy of the natural world.

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