Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Mollusks, Crustaceans, and Related Species » Tusk Shells: Scaphopoda - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Tusk Shells And People, Tusk Shell (antalis Entalis): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS

Tusk Shells: Scaphopoda - Tusk Shells And People

measured americans money native

Tusk shells were used as money by Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest and circulated throughout western Canada south to California. Tusk shells were also worn as displays of wealth. Today they are sold to shell collectors and made into jewelry. The eggs of tusk shells, especially those of Antalis entalis are used to study the early development of fertilized eggs.


Native Americans living along the Pacific Coast from Alaska to California used the tusk shell Dentalium pretiosum as a form of money. The value of the shells was determined not by their numbers but by length. They were usually measured by comparing them to the length of finger joints. The ligua was the most valuable and was made up of twenty-five shells strung together, end-to-end. It measured about 6 feet (1.83 meters) long.

Tusk Shells: Scaphopoda - Tusk Shell (antalis Entalis): Species Account [next] [back] Tusk Shells: Scaphopoda - Behavior And Reproduction

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or