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The Sand Dollar: what is it ?

Updated: Jan 26


The little scientific name of the Sand Dollar..


dollar des sables sur la plage

The Clypeaster Subdepressus...... Thought of the seas, sand currency, sand dollar, sand dollar, caribbean currency, caribbean dollar It is a very fragile member of the echinoderm family (sea urchins, starfish...) with a flattened and circular shell, decorated with a star and holes arranged in rays.


dollar des sables vivant

Alive, its body is covered with fine and short mobile spines, like a down, which gives it a purple gray color and allows the animal to burrow under the sand. This disappears when it washes up on the beach, leaving only its immaculate skeleton with its central star and its five lateral furrows. Like its starfish friends, it has five branches.


He is a peaceful and harmless little being. The dead shells drift to the beaches where the sun bleaches them.


Why is it called "Sand Dollar" ?


It takes its name from its resemblance to a coin.


Where to find the Sand Dollar ?


It is present in many coastal areas: In Africa: Ivory Coast, Senegal.... On the American coasts between Florida and Texas, and in California, between Los Angeles and San Francisco. In the Caribbean Sea: In Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Barthélémy... In Quebec. In Panama and Uruguay... There are several species whose shape and color differ according to the aquatic environment where it develops.


A Christian legend about the Sand Dollar:


dollar des sables, blanc

A Christian legend attributes to this shell to contain the life and death of Christ... “On one side, the star that guided the Three Kings to the crib, The four holes of the crucifixion and the fifth, that of the Roman spear which gave death. On the back side, the drawing of the petals of the winter poinsettia which only blooms at Christmas. When the dollar is broken like a host, it releases five small calcareous elements which strangely resemble white birds with outstretched wings; The doves of the Holy Spirit... the Resurrection "


Other legends about the Sand Dollar :


dollars des sables au fond de l'eau

The sand dollar is said to be a mythical shell representing the story of Poseidon, the god of the sea, and Amphitrite, goddess of the sea. The five holes on the sand dollar symbolize the five oceans - Atlantic, Southern, Pacific, Arctic and Indian. The star in the center of the shell represents the North Star, which led Amphitrite to Poseidon. If you break the shell, you'll release five seagulls sent by Poseidon to watch the sea. According to legend, sand dollars are: - or the mythical currency lost by the mermaids during their walks and brought back by the waves on the beach. - or the currency of the lost city of Atlantis


Do you know this little seashell ? If so, tell me in the comments where you saw it ? How were they ?... I'm curious to know !





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And if you just want to discover the rest of my blog, it's here :



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