Strange shellfish - what is it?

Balthasar balthasar at
Sat Jun 7 11:52:30 EST 1997

I'm just coming back from Lantau Island (Hong Kong) - at the harbour, a
local was selling very strange shellfish, I've never seen before -
what's the name of the animal? 

It looks like a palaentologic relict, hard shell, very long (1.5 times
the body) hard tail. The body is ca. 35-40 cm long, brown - I guess this
guy was selling the animal only because of the shell (very decorative).
The animal was lying on the back - feed like a crab (but not exceeding
the shell).

The animal looks (I'm sorry, I'm not biologist) like the the upper part
of a turtle's shell with a tail like a stingray - only hard.

I'm fascinated by this animal and would like to know more about it - can
somebody help me?

Thanks in advance!

Balthasar Wicki

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