Coastal Zone, Portrush
Fast Facts




8 Bath Road
Portrush, Co. Antrim BT56 8AP
Northern Ireland
+44 (028) 7082 3600
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Portrush Countryside Centre


Photo by Rebecca Allen

Portrush Coastal Zone is a perfect place to wait out the rain. In addition to a rock pool touch tank stocked with native sea creatures, this seafront visitor center boasts marine and coastal exhibits, a library and children's activity area. Time and Tides, the current exhibit, talks to Northern Ireland's marine environment and tells of the sea's importance to the region.
Top Shell Facts

There are lots of fun facts about top shells. Did you know that?

  • The top shell, called the top snail in the United States, is the common name for the large family of sea snails known as the trochidae.
  • Top shells have a top-shaped or conical shell. The inside of the shell has a nacreous or pearl-like coating, which is used for buttons.
  • The top shell inhabits the world's oceans and seas. Most species live in shallow rocky environments such as tide pools.
  • Top shells vary in size from 5 to 130 mm. The largest species are found in tropical waters.
  • The top shell, like all other snails, has a toothed tongue or radula and slides on a muscular foot. Unlike land snails, the eyes of the top shell are mounted at the base rather than the tip of its tentacles.
  • The top shell is an herbivore. Its favorite foods are algae and spores.
  • Top shells without snails are often occupied by hermet crabs.
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