Allen W Thrasher athr at LOC.GOV
Mon Jan 26 20:18:05 UTC 2009

"... he is not very conch-like, except perhaps for the blob-like form on his abdomen."

Is it possible that the blob-like form represents the bit of muscle where the conch's body attaches firmly to the shell?  That is assuming there is such a spot in conchs.  

I was wondering if there might be such a thing as riverine conchs, but the wiki article Conch indicates that all conchs in the strict sense, i.e. gensus Strombus. as well as other shells called conch, including the "sacred conch" or Shankha (Turbinella pyrum), are marine animals.  So few Indian artists indeed would have had the chance of seeing anything more of a conch that the empty shell.  Could one have gotten the idea there was spot where the animal's flesh was anchored to its shell by looking at land or freshwater snails?

Pure speculation but I thought it might be of some small interest.


Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D.
Senior Reference Librarian
Team Coordinator
South Asia Team, Asian Division
Library of Congress, Jefferson Building 150
101 Independence Ave., S.E.
Washington, DC 20540-4810
tel. 202-707-3732; fax 202-707-1724; athr at
The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Library of Congress.

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list