The muricid snails have highly spinose shells. Shown below is a spectacular, complete fossil muricid snail shell with unbroken spines. The only significant alteration that’s taken place is natural bleaching of the original coloration (cf. with 2nd picture below of a living species).
Hexaplex hertweckorum (Petuch, 1988) (7.7 cm across at its widest) from the Pliocene of Florida. It has some encrusting cheilostome bryozoans and worm tubes, plus many small borings.
Stratigraphy & age: Pinecrest Sand Member (a.k.a. Fruitville Formation), uppermost Tamiami Formation, middle to late Pliocene
Locality: Sarasota County (possibly from the Warren Brothers pit/Macasphalt Newburn pit/APAC pit), Gulf Coast of Florida, USA
Classification: Animalia, Mollusca, Gastropoda, Neogastropoda, Muricoidea, Muricidae
Hexaplex cichoreum (Gmelin, 1791) (5.6 cm across at its widest) - this is a modern, living species of Hexaplex. The color patterns vary considerably in this species. Considerable variation is known in the coloration patterns. Seashell color patterns are rarely preserved in the fossil record.