The Lion’s Paw
by An Ordinary Man (the novel)
“By the time the sun was dropping into the waters of the Gulf, they had collected a large number of shells; many merely to replace ones students tended to pocket as souvenirs of his course, several to help illustrate the different solutions reached to the same set of pressures of life on the tidal flats, and a few to add to Richard’s collection. He gave her an excellent lion’s paw as a memento.”
While shelling on the beach on Sanibel Island, Richard gives his student-cum-colleague a Lion’s Paw shell (Nodipecten nodosus). This dramatic shell is not uncommon but still highly prized by collectors when found in good condition. Large specimens fill the palm of a small hand.