Skip to Content

The Legend of The Pansy Shell

Knysna, Tsitsikamma, Wilderness
User avatar
DinkyBird
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 46510
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm
Location: Across the Equator, otherside the Atlantic

The Legend of The Pansy Shell

Unread postby DinkyBird » Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:30 am

The Pansy Shell is found in the Knysna Lagoon and along our Garden Route coast line. They are protected and no live pansies are allowed to be removed from their habitat.

I have had the pleasure of seeing these for myself - they are so delicate and beautiful.

For more info have a look a here: The Pansy Shell - I just love the poem at the bottom of the page; The Legend of The Pansy Shell.
Sawubona
Dalene

User avatar
arks
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4186
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:53 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)

Unread postby arks » Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:19 pm

Most interesting, DB. I'd not realised that these are different from Sand Dollars. I've a bowl of shells and other things that I picked up while walking along various Indian Ocean beaches (including Plett) in 1984 -
RSA 2015
1-30 June Darling
30 June-8 July National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
8-15 July Mountain Zebra
16-22 July Cape Town
* * *
16-28 November Cape Town
29 November-20 January Darling

User avatar
Meg
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 749
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 12:12 pm
Location: Lowvelder in Brisbane

Unread postby Meg » Sun Dec 11, 2005 4:45 pm

Just as well or you'd be a lawbreaker :lol:

Thanks for the link DB, really interesting!
Mothers hold their children's hands for a while and their hearts forever

User avatar
arks
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4186
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:53 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)

Unread postby arks » Sun Dec 11, 2005 6:12 pm

[quote="Meg"][quote="arks"]Most interesting, DB. I'd not realised that these are different from Sand Dollars. I've a bowl of shells and other things that I picked up while walking along various Indian Ocean beaches (including Plett) in 1984 -
RSA 2015
1-30 June Darling
30 June-8 July National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
8-15 July Mountain Zebra
16-22 July Cape Town
* * *
16-28 November Cape Town
29 November-20 January Darling

User avatar
DinkyBird
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 46510
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm
Location: Across the Equator, otherside the Atlantic

Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Dec 11, 2005 6:24 pm

arks wrote:I think it's only breaking the law if you collect them whilst they are still alive. What's found on beaches is usually just the "shell" without the live animal in it.

You are correct I think arks because one can buy the shells all along the Garden Route.
Sawubona
Dalene

Jumbo

Unread postby Jumbo » Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:57 pm

Thanks for posting the link DB. What a wonderful legend :D
I never knew that you could see their age from the rings!

I however do not agree 100% with the following on the website:
The Garden Route is the only place in the world where these shells are found. In America, a similar species exist, the Sand Dollar, which is rounder and fatter.


In Mozambique we have a lot of pansies, especially on the islands. I am sure that you will also find them on the coast in northern Kwazulu Natal.
For some reason the ones in Moz. are bigger in size (might be the nutrients in the warmer water?) We once picked up one that was almost as big as a side plate.
I have often wondered if they are different specie, but on the other hand, we have also picked up some that are they more or less the same size as that you find on the Garden Route.

Unfortunately it seems that people are removing them from the sea to be sold - the ones up for sale are normally dark in colour. However, we have also picked up some of the darker ones ourselves, on the beaches of Portuguese Island and Bazaruto.

A friend of ours took the photo below at the vendors on Inhaca Island.

Image

User avatar
lam
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Port Elizabeth

Unread postby lam » Tue Dec 20, 2005 9:08 pm

As far as I know, the law was changed a few years ago, to prohibit anyone from collectting sea-shells without a license. I searched on the net, but could find nothing to substantiate this.
Kruger - July

Seahorse
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:54 am

Pansies and sea dollars

Unread postby Seahorse » Mon Jan 09, 2006 5:26 pm

The Pansies and sand dollars belong to a group of marine animals that never cease to amaze me.
They all have a body that is ruled by the number of five or multiples of five.
Your basic sea urchin, the nasty little beggar so well known to anglers and divers,look like a small spiny pumpkin.Some of them are quite brightly coloured whilst the chaps that live in the sand, usually have a dull sandy colour.
The spines themselves are so fascinating. They are usually designed for a specific purpose. Defence,movement,cleaning etc. They can be as short as one millimeter and as long as 20 centimeters in some tropical species.
The sand dollar-pansy group have a flattened body ( somewhat like a pumpkin squashed flat.) Their spines are very short because they "swim" in the sandy bottom of the ocean.
The sea biscuit look like one of these little sweet coffee biscuits that my gran used to bake and they are smallish. Two to five centimeters.
They pansies can get quite big, but they are very flat,and built like an aeroplane wing. They "fly" through the sand to find their food.Many of them have slits radiating from the centre of the body.Researchers are still fighting about the function of these slits.
Knysna has the Echinodiscus bisperforatus ( two slitted variety)
Regulation 56(7) of the regulations promulgated in terms of the Marine Living Resources Act protects both the living and dead pansies. You may not disturb or collect any living or dead pansies on the south african coast.

If I remember correctly there is a different species in the Maputo bay. Their edge sculture also differs from our pansies.

We have a very strange urchin in False Bay. It looks all in the world like one of these oil lamps as depicted in stories about Palestine and Rome.They live in the sand of the ripples on the bottom of False bay.

I will try and find some pictures .
Peet Joubert
Park Manager (Knysna)

User avatar
DinkyBird
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 46510
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm
Location: Across the Equator, otherside the Atlantic

Unread postby DinkyBird » Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:28 pm

Thanks Seahorse for that really interesting info. I wonder where all the Pansy Shells one can buy in Plett come from :( I will certainly not be buying any ever again.
Sawubona
Dalene

paulricklan
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:23 am

Re: The Legend of The Pansy Shell

Unread postby paulricklan » Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:34 am

PLEASE can anyone let me know if it is illegal to collect DEAD Pansy shells - these are the ones found on top of the sand (live ones live just below the surface) Do they serve any purpose when dead? Are there any RULES or legislation you can point me to??

Thanks


Return to “Garden Route Parks”