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Bunurong Environment Centre

Inverloch Shell Museum

The Inverloch Shell Museum contains one of the world’s best displays of shells, with over 6,000 specimens on display including many local varieties. Entry is $2 per person (children under 5 are free) and all funds go to the maintenance and improvement of the museum.

Inverloch Shell Museum History

In 1980 the Inverloch community purchased the Jack Lewis Collection which had been a popular attraction in Inverloch for many years. A trust was set up to secure its future. In 1989 the Trust purchased the Drysdale Collection, doubling the existing collection.

In 1990 Noel and Betty Hope of Preston, collectors for more than 50 years, donated their collection to the Trust. In 1992, the Trust handed control to the Shire of Woorayl, now Bass Coast Shire. Community support has given us one of the world's best displays of shells, with over 6000 being on display.

The collection is now owned by the Bass Coast Shire under the auspices of the South Gippsland Conservation Society. The collection is constantly reviewed and updated by local members of the Malacological Society of Australia.

The Victorian Collection

This collection, which is dedicated to the late Peter Noonan, is displayed along the back wall. All the shells in this collection may be found within the state of Victoria. A large number may be found within Anderson's Inlet and the Bunurong Marine Park.

In this collection may be found a sinistral specimen of Sassia verrucosa (Reeve, 1844) found by Jack Lewis. Sinistral is the term used to describe left handed shells - shells where the aperture is on the left when you place the shell with the spire up and the aperture facing you.

There are some species in which the sinistral aperture is normal. The small sand creepers of the Family Triphoridae are sinistral and a number of species may be found in shell sand at Inverloch. They are under 1cm in length.

Quite a few land species also have sinistral apertures. The Gordonians displayed above the Victorian Collection, were found in Bass Strait. They do not lose their colour like coral which becomes white after the death of the animals.

Basket stars live on Gorgonians. If you look carefully you will find some. Basket stars belong to the same Phylum as starfish, sea urchins and sand dollars (Echinodermata). The Blue-ringed Octopus, Hapalochlaena maculosa (Hoyle, 1883) which is found in Victoria, is a member of the Mollusc family. DO NOT TOUCH – they are DEADLY.

Shell Museum

Shell Museum

Shell Museum

Shell Museum