Archive for the 'Molluscs' Category

17th December 2011, Saturday

Common Cockles

A walk along the beach this morning at low water found all the big gulls resting, not bothering to feed. It soon became clear that there was still so much to eat on the beach after the storms – in places the beach was covered in common cockles and some still had the soft body in tact and visible to any gull. In the photo above at least four still have the orange body visible. For a close up ….. Read the rest of this entry »

9th August 2010, Monday

Cuttlefish birthday

cuttlefish eggs
A couple of days ago there were “bunches of black grapes” on the shore. Some of these were rescued and put into the marine tank at Lime Kiln Cottage information centre. Here they have hatched in to tiny and very cute Cuttlefish – about 12mm long. They are facinating to watch through a magifying glass as they change colour, hover and then use their jet propulsion to whizz off… and catch their food.
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3rd December 2009, Thursday

Detached moorlog

The recent storms have boken off slabs of moorlog,which now lie scattered along Pett beach. They originate from about 5000 years ago when the sea level was lower and forest extended into what is now Rye Bay. The returning salt water killed then pickled the forest, fallen onto its bed of blue clay, blanketing it with silt.
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29th June 2009, Monday

A different world – meadow by night

A meadow is a different place at night.  The hum of bees is replaced by the hum of midges, and a totally different suite of animals come out to forage.  Slugs and snails are abundant, one of the reasons why slow-worm do so well in this habitat.  At this time of the year newts are also common here, with three smooth newts observed clambering over the plant stems this evening in a surprisingly three dimensional way.

They do well in this habitat because it offers shelter from desiccation and predators.  The base of the lawn is surprisingly Read the rest of this entry »

22nd March 2009, Sunday

Snails in a jar

TV over the past month or two has been awash with shows on Charles Darwin, with quite a bit of repetition, but one new project I learnt about this week concerned an Open University mass participation project to study the evolution of colour patterns in two species of banded snails.  These attractive molluscs will be familiar to gardeners.  The idea is to determine if historical banding patterns across the country compare with what is present at the moment, and determine if the banding pattern may possibly be evolving due to changes in numbers of predatory thrushes and climate change for instance. Always keen to have a go at simple recording projects I logged on to the website and then got searching in my embarrassingly weedy garden.


There are two species Read the rest of this entry »