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37 Examples of Animals with Shells (A to Z List +Pictures)

Animals with Shells

Examples of animals with shells include snails, crabs, cockroaches, clams, and bugs.

Animals with shells are some of the most unique creatures on Earth. They come in many shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: an outer protective layer that helps them survive in their environment.

Some animals have shells that protect them from the elements and predators. Shells can come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors depending on the type of animal they are protecting.

Examples of Animals with Shells

1. African Giant Snail

African Giant Snail
Scientific NameAchatina fulica
Type of AnimalGastropods
RangeEast Africa
DietHerbivore

The African giant snail is a large, terrestrial gastropod that can be found in Sub-Saharan Africa. These snails have a brown shell with black and white stripes that can grow up to 20 cm in length.

They are herbivores and prefer to eat leaves, fruits, and vegetables.

2. American Dog Tick

Scientific NameDermacentor variabilis
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeNorth America
DietCarnivore

This tick is found in Eastern North America. The American dog ticks usually burrow into the ground to wait for their prey, like rodents and small mammals. When they sense one nearby, it grabs onto them with its front legs while inserting a needle-like mouthpart called a hypostome which helps them suck blood from the host animal.

3. Argentinian Wood Roach

Scientific NameBlaptica dubia
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeCentral and South America
DietOmnivore

The Argentinian wood roach is a type of cockroach that has an oval-shaped shell located on its thorax. These shells are typically brown but can sometimes be reddish-brown or black depending on the subspecies.

Their body size is roughly around 40mm and they have wings although they cannot fly. They eat decaying organic matter and are also scavengers.

4. Brown Crab

Brown Crab
Scientific NameCancer pagurus
Type of AnimalMalacostracans
Rangethe North Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, and perhaps the Mediterranean Sea
DietOmnivore

The brown crab is a common type of crab found in the UK. This crustacean has a hard shell that is reddish-brown in color. The brown crab ranges in size from two to six inches wide and can be found in both salt and fresh water.

5. Cat Flea

Scientific NameCtenocephalides felis
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

The cat flea is a tiny parasite that lives on the bodies of cats and dogs. They are brown in color with tough, streamlined bodies made to help them move through their host’s fur quickly. This allows them to evade predators while they drink blood from their host.

6. Chambered Nautilus

Scientific NameNautilus pompilius
Type of AnimalCephalopod
Rangethe western Pacific Ocean
DietCarnivore

The chambered nautilus is a type of cephalopod that has a shell. This marine animal lives in the deep ocean and can grow up to 8 inches long. The chambered nautilus has an interesting defense mechanism- it can release a black ink cloud to confuse predators

7. Chilean King Crab

Scientific NameLithodes santolla
Type of AnimalMalacostracans
RangeSouth Americas
DietCarnivore

The Chilean king crab is a type of crab that lives in the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean. This crab has a hard shell that protects it from predators and the elements. The shell can be red, green, or brown in color, and can grow up to 8 inches wide.

8. Death’s Head Cockroach

Scientific NameBlaberus craniifer
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeMexico, the West Indies, and Central America
DietOmnivore

These cockroaches are native to Africa and Asia. They can be found in rural areas, forests, near rivers, or ponds. This species of roach is considered the most dangerous due to the powerful toxin that they produce when threatened by predators like rats, lizards, and snakes.

See Also: What does it mean when a cockroach crawls on you?

9. Doodle Bug

Scientific NameMyrmeleon
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide
DietHerbivore

The Doodle Bug is a type of beetle that has a hard, outer shell. This shell protects the beetle from predators and environmental hazards. The Doodle Bug can be found in many different colors, including yellow, green, and brown.

10. Dublin Bay Prawn

Scientific NameNephrops norvegicus
Type of AnimalMalacostracans
Rangethe Irish Sea
DietOmnivore

Dublin Bay Prawn is a type of lobster that lives in the cold, dark waters off the coast of Ireland. This lobster has a hard shell that protects it from predators and the elements. The shell is a light green with brown stripes, and it can grow up to 25 cm long.

11. European Lobster

Lobster
Scientific NameHomarus gammarus
Type of AnimalMalacostracans
Range the eastern Atlantic
DietOmnivore

The European Lobster has a very hard shell that is covered with teeth-like protrusions. These claws are extremely powerful and can even crack open the shells of their prey

12. Florida Stone Crab

Florida Stone Crab
Scientific NameMenippe mercenaria
Type of AnimalMalacostracans
Range Atlantic and Gulf coasts
DietCarnivore

The Florida stone crab is a type of crab that lives in the waters near Florida. These crabs have a hard shell that protects them from predators and the elements. The shells come in different colors but are usually light brown or tan.

13. Giant Clam

Scientific NameTridacna gigas
Type of AnimalBivalvia
Rangethe South Pacific and parts of South Africa
DietOmnivore

The giant clam is a large sea snail that can grow up to four feet long! These clams have a beautiful purple and pink shell that is often used in jewelry. They use their strong muscle to clamp down on prey, which includes fish and other clams.

14. Green Chiton

Scientific NameChiton glaucus
Type of AnimalChitons
RangeNew Zealand
DietOmnivore

The green chiton is a type of mollusk that has eight valves or shells. This animal lives in temperate waters and eats algae off rocks with its tongue, which has a tough tooth-like tip to help it graze on the algae. The green chiton can grow up to 2 inches long.

15. Hermann’s Tortoise

Hermann's Tortoise
Scientific NameTestudo hermanni
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeSouthern and Eastern Europe into the Middle East
DietHerbivore

Hermann’s tortoises are native to southern Europe and North Africa. They have a dome-shaped shell that is brown with yellow markings on it. These animals can grow up to 8 inches long.

16. King Crab

King Crab
Scientific NameLithodidae
Type of AnimalMalacostracans
RangeGulf of Alaska
DietCarnivore

King crabs are one of the largest types of crabs. They typically live around deep water in the ocean and can be found in both coastal regions and off-shore habitats like hydrothermal vents (a place where hot and mineral-rich fluids spew out of the seafloor).

The king crab’s shell is used to defend itself from predators when it’s in the open ocean and to keep it warm when it’s in colder waters.

17. Longhorn Cowfish

Longhorn Cowfish
Scientific NameLactoria cornuta
Type of AnimalFish
RangeRed Sea
DietOmnivore

The longhorn cowfish is a fish that has a shell that can grow up to 12 inches long! This fish is found in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. The longhorn cowfish gets its name from the two horns on top of its head.

These horns are used to defend themselves against predators so they are difficult to swallow.

18. Mantis Shrimp

Mantis Shrimp
Scientific NameStomatopoda
Type of AnimalMalacostracans
RangeIndian and Pacific Oceans
DietCarnivore

The mantis shrimp is a colorful sea creature that has one of the most complex shells in the animal kingdom. The shell is made up of three parts: the carapace, which covers the head and thorax, the pleura, which covers the abdomen, and the merus, which is part of the arm.

19. Mediterranean Mussel

Scientific NameMytilus galloprovincialis
Type of AnimalMollusks
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

The Mediterranean mussel is a small, bivalve mollusk that can be found in the Mediterranean Sea and parts of the Atlantic Ocean. This mussel has a light brown shell with black stripes and can grow up to three inches long.

20. Mollusks

Mollusk
Scientific NameMollusca
Type of AnimalMollusks
RangeWorldwide
DietHerbivore

Mollusks, such as snails and slugs, have a hard shell. They protect the mollusk from predators and help retain moisture in dry weather.

21. Nine-Banded Armadillo

Armadillo
Scientific NameDasypus novemcinctus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeTexas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Louisiana
DietOmnivore

The nine-banded armadillo is the only species of armadillo found in North America. It has a hard, leathery shell that helps to protect it from predators and harsh weather conditions.

22. Pacific Cleaner Shrimp

Scientific NameLysmata amboinensis
Type of AnimalMalacostracans
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

This shrimp is able to live symbiotically with anemones. They use their claws to catch food for the sea anemone and clean it of parasites.

23. Patagonian Shrimp

Scientific NamePleoticus muelleri
Type of AnimalMalacostracans
RangeArgentina
DietOmnivore

These shrimp live in the sea and have shells that look like they are covered in small bubbles. They can be found deep underwater, usually near volcanic vents, where their bubbly shell allows them to move quickly through the scalding hot waters.

24. Pond Slider

Scientific NameTrachemys scripta
Type of AnimalReptile
Rangesouthern Great Lakes region east to West Virginia
DietCarnivore

The pond slider is a type of turtle that can be found in North America. They have a dark green shell with light stripes running down the middle. These turtles love to bask in the sun and can be found near ponds and rivers.

25. Radiated Tortoise

Radiated Tortoise
Scientific NameAstrochelys radiata
Type of AnimalReptile
Rangeisland of Madagascar
DietHerbivore

The radiated tortoise is a species of tortoise that can be found in Africa. They are distinguishable by the black and yellow markings on their shell. Their shells serve as protection from predators and the elements.

26. Red-Footed Tortoise

Red-Footed Tortoise
Scientific NameChelonoidis carbonaria
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeSouth America
DietOmnivore

The red-footed tortoise has a domed shell that is brown with black spots. This tortoise can be found in Central and South America. They are terrestrial tortoises, which means they live on land. Red-footed tortoises can weigh up to 20 pounds and reach lengths of 14 inches.

27. Reef Lobster

Scientific NameEnoplometopus
Type of AnimalCrustaceans
RangeAtlantic Ocean
DietOmnivore

The reef lobster is a type of lobster that has a hard shell. This shell helps protect the lobster from predators and the elements. The reef lobster lives in warm, tropical waters and can be found near coral reefs.

28. Roman Snail

Roman Snail
Scientific NameHelix pomatia
Type of AnimalGastropods
RangeCentral Europe
DietOmnivore

The Roman snail is a type of land snail that can be found throughout Europe. These snails have a large, spiral-shaped shell that is brown or cream in color. They use their shells to protect themselves from predators and the elements.

29. Sacred Scarab

Scientific NameScarabaeidae
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeSpain, Italy, Sardinia, Greece
DietHerbivore

The Sacred Scarab is a type of beetle that lives in Africa and parts of the Middle East. These beetles can be up to two inches long and have a bright green shell. They are sacred to the ancient Egyptians, who believed that they were created by the god Khepri.

30. Scaly Foot Snail

Scaly Foot Snail
Scientific NameChrysomallon squamiferum
Type of AnimalGastropods
Rangethe Indian Ocean
DietHerbivore

The scaly foot snail is a type of sea snail that has a hard, brown shell. This snail lives in the deep ocean and can withstand high pressure and extreme temperatures.

31. Sea Urchins

Urchin
Scientific NameEchinoidea
Type of AnimalMarine Invertebrate
RangeWorldwide
DietHerbivore

These small animals have spiny shells that come in a variety of colors, including purple, orange, and red. They use their sharp spines to protect themselves from predators and to help them move around in the water.

Read Also: Do Sea Urchin Have Spikes?

32. Spiny Spider Crab

Scientific NameMaja squinado
Type of AnimalCrustacean
Range the waters around Europe
DietOmnivore

Spiny Spider Crabs have a large, spiky shell surrounding their whole body. The shell is usually brown with yellow spots and the legs are covered in purple hairs to match.

33. Squat Lobster

Scientific NameMunidopsis serricornis
Type of AnimalCrustacean
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

The squat lobster is a small, pink lobster that lives in the Pacific Ocean. This lobster has a hard shell that protects it from predators and the elements.

34. Texas Ironclad Beetle

Scientific NameZopherus nodulosus haldemani Horn
Type of AnimalInsect
Rangeeast and central Texas
DietHerbivore

The Texas Ironclad Beetle is a type of beetle that can be found in the state of Texas. This particular beetle has a reddish-brown shell that helps protect it from predators and the elements.

35. Velvet Crab

Velvet Crab
Scientific NameNecora puber
Type of AnimalCrustacean
Rangesouthern Norway to Western Sahara
DietCarnivore

The velvet crab is a type of crab that has a bright red shell. This shell helps to camouflage the crab from predators. The velvet crab can be found in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

36. Wood Tick

Wood Tick
Scientific NameDermacentor variabilis
Type of AnimalInsect
Range Rocky Mountain
DietCarnivore

Wood ticks are known as some of the most dangerous animals in North America because they carry Lyme disease. They have a hard, flat shell that protects them from predators and shields their soft underbelly from danger.

37. Yellow Crab

Crab
Scientific NameMetacarcinus anthonyi
Type of AnimalCrustacean
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

The yellow crab is a small, saltwater crab that lives in tropical and subtropical waters. This crab gets its name from its bright yellow shell. Yellow crabs are scavengers and feed on dead animals and plants.

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