Family: Volutidae. One of the most popular of collector shells, Volutes live in deep waters and are carnivorous. There are about 200 species of this elegant, spindle-shaped shell. Volutes consume small mollusks and other small marine animals. They are referred to as the aristocrats of the shell world because of their beautiful colors and striking patterns. Volutes lack the free-swimming larval stage of other mollusks. Their large egg capsules contain substances which enable the embryos to survive a prolonged period of development that can last several months. Tiny fully-formed shells then emerge from the capsules and crawl away to begin their life. They tend to spend their life in colonies and in small ranges. Interesting Facts: Volutes are some of the most expensive shells in the world. A few larger species have an exceptionally wide aperture and are used by natives of the South Pacific to bail water from their boats. Hence their common name of Bailer Shell.