BEACHCOMBING ON ABACO WITH KASIA


BEACHCOMBING WITH KASIA: EXPLORING A ROCKY SHORE

Kasia’s back! She recently explored a rather unpromising-looking stretch of Abaco coastline, and it proved to be anything but… Kasia writes: The story goes: one day I took myself for a walk and a bit of beachcombing. I usually don’t bring my camera with me but luckily this time I did. This particular beach looks very barren but on close inspection and a patient eye there are some lovely treasures to be found. Here are some of the treasures I captured!

A tangle of 3 bleached trees, with their roots apparently intertwined

CHITONS

Great close-ups… are those eggs behind this first one? There’s a similar image in the Macmillan ‘Marine Life of the Caribbean’ but unfortunately neither the caption nor the text refers to them. ADDENDUM: Colin Redfern writes: The “eggs” behind the chiton are fecal pellets

NERITES (Nerita)

WEST INDIAN TOP-SHELLS (Cittarium Pica) 

In this image, several very small chitons can also be seen on the rock

It looks as if someone… or something… has been having a Nerite feast on the shore. A bird maybe?  I had taken the shells above and below to be another variety of Nerite, but as so often scientist and shell expert Colin Redfern has kindly corrected the error. He writes: “Very nice photos. The “nerite feast” is actually a pile of broken West Indian Top-shells (Cittarium pica). The photo immediately above shows a live group of the same species. This is what Bahamians call a whelk (or wilk), and in the lower photo they have been harvested, probably for a stew.

 ROCK POOL MISCELLANY

I am trying to ID a much as I can in this pool. All suggestions welcome via ‘Leave a Comment’. So far, the corals are Brain Coral and Pink Coral (I think) but I am going see what else can be given a name…

These are my favourite! :) Kasia

COMET SEA STAR (possibly juvenile, with 3 such short stubs?)

A SPONGE (?) OF SOME SORT (any help with ID appreciated…)

                RED ROCK URCHINS

ANOTHER STROLL ALONG THE SHORE WITH KASIA

After all the recent excitement – well I was excited, anyway – involving Mars Mission space rocket debris washed up on the Delphi Club Beach CLICK MARS ROVER it’s a gentle touchdown back onto a sandy beach for some more of Kasia’s finds. First, a shell which I believe (tempting fate) I have correctly ID’d for once. Then a half crab shell, at a guess a spider crab’s roof.

KING VENUS CLAM Verenidae – Chione Paphia

These bivalve molluscs seem to be inoffensive, and to lead rather dull lives: so far all I have discovered is that “they live buried in sand at depths of 1 – 20 fathoms” I shall investigate further & report back – there must be some small creature they molest or upset in some way…

CRAB SHELL, FORMER HOME TO A SPIDER CRAB

ABACO BEACHCOMBING MYSTERY (2): A FUNNY BONE

Another mystery object found by Kasia during her sandy rambles. This piece of bone may take more time to unravel than the last (see RAY’S PALATE). Fewer clues. A very small part of a large creature? Or a more significant part of a small creature? Any ideas? If so, please use the COMMENT box below to make suggestions

BEACHCOMBING AT CASUARINA POINT, ABACO 

To see Kasia’s shells  – Phalium, Cowrie and Conch – collected from Casuarina at low tide CLICK===>>> 

BAHAMAS STARFISH ON ABACO

To see Kasia’s starfish photos and a learned discourse on the species (handily truncated into ’10 Essential Facts’)  CLICK ===>>> 

MYSTERY OBJECT FROM AN ABACO BEACH

                                        

Here’s a strange item found by Kasia when she was beachcombing with Caroline Stahala

                      Their preliminary thought was that it formed some part of a turtle’s shell or skeletal anatomy

It is quite small (the coin above is 1 Euro) but amazingly intricate – developed in 2 symmetrical halves, with both delicate ridged surfaces and also distinctively layered bone plates 

 I sent the images to Charlotte Dunn and Diane Claridge of the BMMRO in case the object might have something to do with a dolphin or even a whale. In their opinion it is very probably part of a RAY’S MOUTH PLATE. It would be very interesting to know if anyone else has found an object like this. If so please respond in the comment box.

Many thanks to Charlotte and Diane for sparing the time to help with ID

STOP PRESS I have some done further investigations into the dental arrangements of rays. I turned to the really excellent website of the Florida Museum of Natural History. On the FLMNH page for SPOTTED EAGLE RAYS is a very interesting photo by Cathy Bester which she has kindly given me permission to use. It is captioned Spotted eagle ray dentition: open mouth showing tooth bands and floor and roof of mouth  This photo seems to go a good way to confirming the ID of Kasia’s object, although obviously it might be a fragment from a different type of ray 

For the FLMNH site CLICK LOGO 

GO PRESS (or whatever an extra stop press may be): see comments  from Black River Fossils for further confirmation as a ray palate

BEACHCOMBING FOR SEA GLASS 

Kasia is an avid beachcomber on the sandy beaches of Abaco. Her collections include not only shells but also other marine debris such as sea glass. She has sent me some images with the comment You can find a lot of sea glass in many different colours and shapes, from the most common green, brown and white through fairly hard to find colours like jadeite (one of the 2 forms of jade), citron, light blue, light green, honey and amber colored browns, to quite rare colors like cobalt, teal, periwinkle, aqua, amethyst & black” Here are some examples of Abaco sea glass from her collection. Shells and other items will follow as and when… 

SEA GLASS COLOURS: THE VITREOUS STATISTICS

Sea glass sources are many and varied. In general, these include old clear plates, glasses, windows etc; coloured drinks bottles – wine, spirits, beer, fruit, cola etc; soda bottles; medicine bottles (e.g. milk of magnesia / Vick’s blue); fruit jars; ink bottles; household goods (bleach, soda). The rarest colours (see below) come from very specific origins: teal / Mateus Rose bottles; red /  car or nautical lights or Schlitz bottles; black / c18 gin, beer and wine bottles

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION OF SEA GLASS COLOUR OCCURRENCE

Most common (1 in every 1 – 25 pieces found): clear, Kelly (‘Irish’) green, brown, blue, purple

Less common (1 in every 25 – 100 pieces found): jade, amber, lime green, forest green, ice / soft blue

Uncommon (1 in every 50 – 100 pieces found): other green shades

Very uncommon 1 in every 200 – 1000 pieces found): citron, opaque white, cobalt, cornflower blue and aqua

Extremely rare (1 in every 1000 – 10,000 pieces found): grey, pink, teal, black, yellow, turquoise, red

 Rarest of all (1 in every 10,000+ pieces found): orange

Info credit: Magpies, for collecting bright shiny glass data. Omni-thanks

This is a helpful chart for the main colours, courtesy and © of  West Coast Seaglass www.westcoastseaglass.com starting top left with orange as the rarest

You’ll find a great deal of other useful info on sea glass on Mary Beth’s  linked blog at http:// seaglassblog.blogspot.com/

There’s also a worthwhile Abaco Life article (2006) on sea glass at http://www.abacolife.com/2008/07/14/sea-gass-reveals-muted-tales-in-red-green-blue-white/


5 thoughts on “BEACHCOMBING ON ABACO WITH KASIA

  1. i have the exact same fossil as your strange layered fossil. We found it hunting in the peace river. We had given up hope and then googled symmetrical layered fossil and their was yours. Our fossil is black.

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    • Hi Bobby, thanks for calling in at Rolling Harbour. So glad you have solved your mystery (credit to Google too, of course!). We were relieved to get to the answer too… I wonder why your one is black. Different ray species, perhaps? You’d think the sun would have bleached rather than darkened it. All the best RH

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