Abalone, a marine snail. It is also called ear shell, sea ear, and ormer. Abalones live in warm areas of the Pacific Ocean, in the Indian Ocean, and on Europe's coasts. The shell is roughly ear-shaped and has a row of three to nine small holes near one edge. It grows to a length of more than 12 inches (30 cm). The shell is lined with an iridescent, pearl-like layer and is used to make mother-of-pearl buttons; it is also polished and sold as a decoration.

AbaloneAbalone is a marine snail with an ear-shaped shell.

The abalone has a broad foot with which it attaches itself to submerged rocks. It feeds on algae and seaweed. There are about 100 species of abalones. The most common North American species are the black abalone, the green abalone, and the red abalone. They are found along the coast of California and Oregon. The abalone is harvested—for its shell and edible foot—from the ocean and from commercial farms that specialize in growing abalones.

Abalones belong to the family Haliotidae. The black abalone is Haliotus cracherodii; the green, H. fulgens; the red, H. rufescens.