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1 The outer part or body of a block inside which the sheave revolves. The shells of wooden blocks are scored to hold the strop with which they are bound and which embraces the eye or hook, at the top or bottom of the block.

2 The calcareous protective structure which encloses the bodies of molluscs, namely snails and clams. Snails have a single shell, which is often twisted into a spiral and may be decorated with ribs and spines. In bivalve clams there is a pair of hinged shells which entirely encloses the body. The hard outer skeleton of crustaceans like crabs is also colloquially referred to as a shell.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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