The Buccinidae are a very large and diverse taxonomic family of large sea snails, often known as whelks or true whelks.
The family includes more than 1500 species.
The true whelks occur worldwide in all seas from tropical oceans to the cold seas of the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean. They are found from the intertidal to the bathypelagic zones. Most prefer a solid bottom, but some inhabit sandy substrates.