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This Picture was taken while diving with my son in Indonesia, though the tiger cowry is found throughout the Pacific and range in size from 4 to 6 inches. The tiger cowry’s shell color is distinctive, though it doesn’t resemble the animal for which it is named. The shell may be white or golden brown with scattered dark brown or black spots and a golden mantle line that runs the length of the shell. When touched or disturbed the mantle is retracted as in this photograph. Cowry snails usually inhabit rocky and coral areas where they browse on algae, or encrusting invertebrates like sponges. They are most active at night and conceal themselves in crevices during the day. The animal has shell-producing mantle tissue that extends outside the shell. This keeps the shell clean and polished, and prevents boring or encrusting organisms from causing damage to the shell surface. The mantle tissue is light with irregular dark blotches and covered with simple, projections called papillae.