Cowrie or cowry (plural cowries) is the common name for a group of small to large sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Cypraeidae, the cowries. The shells of cowries are usually smooth and shiny and more or less egg-shaped. The round side of the shell is called the Dorsal Face, whereas the flat under side is called the Ventral Face, which shows a long, narrow, slit-like opening (aperture), which is often toothed at the edges. The narrower end of the egg-shaped cowrie shell is the anterior end, and the broader end of the shell is called the posterior. The spire of the shell is not visible in the adult shell of most species, but is visible in juveniles, which have a different shape from the adults.