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practice of finding and usually identifying the shells of mollusks, a popular avocation, or hobby, in many parts of the world. These shells, because of their bright colours, rich variety of shapes and designs, and abundance along seashores, have long been used for ornaments, tools, and coins. Aristotle and Pliny the Elder wrote extensively about them. In the ruins of ancient Pompeii and in a crypt in a Mayan pyramid in Yucatan, shells were found that may be the remains of ancient collections