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Markus Niiranen from Finland

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I received my first shells from my cousin when I was five years old. They were interesting to me, even though they were quite common species. When I was nine years old, I received some more shells from my school assistant as a birthday present. Those included many interesting shells for me, some Cypraeas, Murexes, Lambis and Trochids. Of course, back then I didn't know anything about their Finnish or Latin names.

I found amazing shapes and textures which I had never touched before; it was like a whole new world of shapes for me, and after that I really became interested in shells and started collecting them.

I tried to get more shells, but in Finland it's very difficult to obtain any shells at all; I only found some shell baskets in local shops. But when I traveled to Gran Canary Island, my collection increased a lot. There were shells that I had never seen, very big surprises for me. I returned several times to the Canary Islands and I bought more and more new shells for my collection.

Six years later, I visited Rhodes in Greece and again obtained many different species. I had not imagined how many different species from other countries I could find. I mean special and more expensive species, specially prepared for collectors. I bought some real nice shells there: Cypraea aurantium, Cypraea hesitata, Haliotis rufescens and Syrinx aruanus.

I also found many new species from Fortaleza, Brazil during two trips I made, in 2005 and in January 2006 when I visited Femorale, which was the first real shell store I have been to.

I have moved my preferred families to a big wooden cabinet.
These species are ordered alphabetically by genus in the phyllogenetic order as much it's possible.

My preferred families are Bursidae, Cassidae, Haliotidae, Harpidae, Ranellidae and Struthiolariidae.

Shell collecting for me means traveling to new places, examining shapes and textures of different kind of shells and meeting new people.

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