Shell small to large, extremely thick and solid, varied in shape sometimes resembling species of Ranellidae but more coarsely sculptured. Especially characteristic feature of the family is the unique anal canal present in outer lip at posterior end of aperture; spire low to moderately tall and siphonal canal short.
In most species the varices are aligned up the side of the early spire whorls becoming unaligned on the last few whorls only, however the variceal position has little taxonomic significance in Bursidae.
Periostracum is thin.
Operculum always present, horny.
[Beu, 1981. pp 245]
[Wilson, 1993. pp 224]