The effects of environment upon shell construction and strength in the Rough periwinkle Littorina rudis Maton (Mollusca: Gastropoda)


  • *Department of Materials Technology, Brunei University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH


The interrelationships between environment, shell construction and shell strength of the Rough periwinkle Littorina rudis are investigated in samples of shells taken from a range of shores differing in exposure and salinity level. The effects of different aspects of shell construction upon shell strength are evaluated. Shell strength is compared to chelar bite force of the predatory crab Carcinus maenas. The results are discussed in terms of a theory of factors of safety, and the observed patterns of variation in shell strength and construction with respect to environment are found to be consistent with the predictions of the theory.