• Aerial View of Padre Island National Seashore

    Padre Island

    National Seashore Texas

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  • Park Phone issues

    The visitor center main phone line and fax line are not working. To reach the park visitor center, call (361) 949-8069. Fax to (361) 949-7091, Attention: Visitor Center. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  • Bird Island Basin Campground rehabilitation starts August 18, 2014

    The second part of a project to repair facilities and rebuild eroded shoreline at Bird Island Basin Campground begins August 18. Minor disruptions of activities in the immediate area may occur. None of the work should affect use of the boat ramp.


Here are some of the seashells that can be found along Padre Island.  Note that only some of these are found frequently and often shell-hunting is likely to be poor.

Here are some of the seashells that can be found along Padre Island.  Note that only some of these are found frequently and often shell-hunting is likely to be poor.

NPS photo

The following 37 species of molluscs have been documented at the National Seashore; the common name is followed by the scientific name.

Variable Coquina - Donax variabilis
Atlantic Giant Cockle - Dinocardium robustum
Broad Ribbed Caditid - Carditamera floridana
Sawtooth Penshell - Atrina serrata
Common Sundial - Architectonica nobilis
White Baby Ear - Sinum perspectivum
Janthina - Janthina janthina
N/A - Dentalium sp.
Eastern Oyster - Crassostrea virginica
Scorched Mussel - Brachidontes exustus
False Angelwing - Petricola pholadiformis
Atlantic Pearl Oyster - Pinctada imbricata
Rock Shell - Thais haemostoma
Striped False Limpet - Siphonaria pectinata
Lineolate Periwinkle - Littorina lineolata
Antillean Murite - Nerita fulgurans
Tinted Cantharus - Pisania tincta
Cayenne Keyhole Limpet - Diodora cayenensis
Greedy Dovesnail - Anachis avara
Disk Dosinia - Dosinia discus
Spiny Jewelbox - Arcinella arcinella
Alternate Tellin - Tellina alternata
Brown Moonsnail - Polinices hepaticus
Lettered Olive - Oliva sayana
Pointed Venus - Anomalocardia auberiana
Bay Scallop - Argopecten irradians
Scorched Mussel - Brachidontes exustus
Not Available - Laevecardium mortoni
Not Available - Mulinia laterale
Not Available - Acteon cumingii
Greedy Dovesnail - Anachis avara
Striate Bubble - Bulla striata
Not Available - Bursatella leecheii
Variable Cerith - Cerithium lutosum
Common Atlantic Slippersnail - Crepidula fornicata
Not Available - Diastoma varium
Bruised Nassa - Nassarius vibex

One of the most interesting mollusks to appear on Padre Island beaches does not actually inhabit the island or its waters: the Ram's Horn squid. These small creatures live at depths of about 300 ft. to 3,000 ft. (the deepest water in the park is about 12 feet). However, after they die, the small bouyancy chambers they use for adjusting their depth in the water often wash up onto our beaches. They look very much like miniature ram's horns and thus give the squid its name. One is shown in the bottom right of the photo at the top of this page. For a glimpse into the life of this fascinating creature, follow this link to an article in Wikipedia.

Did You Know?

A Kemp's ridley returns to the Gulf with a radio transmitter so that her travels outside of nesting season can be tracked.

Kemp's ridley sea turtles are both the smallest and the most endangered sea turtles in the world. Padre Island National Seashore is one of only a few places in the world where Kemp's ridley sea turtles come to nest. More...