‘BEAUTY & THE BEACH’: A CLOSE LOOK AT ABACO SHELLS


Abaco seashell 11

‘BEAUTY & THE BEACH’: A CLOSE LOOK AT SOME ABACO SHELLS

Abaco seashell 10Abaco seashell 7bAbaco seashell 6bAbaco seashell 3bAbaco seashell 2bAbaco seashell 1bAbaco seashell 4bAbaco Shells 12bAbaco seashell 5bAnd to end with, not a shell but a somewhat unattractive head shot…Abaco seashell 9b

BEAUTY PARADE

Abaco seashell 7aAbaco seashell 6aAbaco seashell 3aAbaco seashell 4aAbaco Shells 12 aAbaco seashell 5a

UGLY BUG BALL…

Can anyone ID this? It’s not what I thought… *later* yes they can! See comments for the debateAbaco seashell 9b

Skull 2

All shells – & the spider crab carapace – collected from the beach at Casuarina

13 thoughts on “‘BEAUTY & THE BEACH’: A CLOSE LOOK AT ABACO SHELLS

      • RH! I realize I chime in on a host of subjects, but my specialty is Molluscs. If there’s ever a question on “shells”,Molluscs, I’m your man! I’ve written columns in magazines and have published in a major scientific journal. So don’t be shy about questions…….. Did I mention I’m retired, and my wife thinks I’ll keep my mental health up by involving myself in such endeavours?

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      • Hi Rick, that sounds good to me: I find ID of similar types of shell quite complicated, so any advice appreciated! I’ve got more shells to come, so feel free to correct ID… And yes, you mentioned retirement and your wife’s suggestion – what a good one it is… RH

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  1. Hi to Nick, Rick & Jessica. Many thanks for your contributions, informative comments and for solving the puzzle. Initially I thought it was a horseshoe crab, but that was pretty dim of me I realise. So it’s good to have some authoritative views. Rick, I’d like to see a vid of you doing the urchin trick!

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    • RH, since I won’t be in the ocean again until Sept/Oct in Andros, I’ll try to explain it better…..Using some thick gloves, slide a long, thin object under the urchin, once you’ve gotten him out of his lair, then raise him up a ways and spank him 2 0r 3 times. This won’t harm the urchin or the shrimps, but It will break a few spines, and they self repair. It’s really easiest at night when they’re out and about. If you really want to see cool critters, get a good dive light and snorkel around some shallow reefs w/ some friends at night. Bring a “Bug Bag” for foraging lobsters!

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  2. BTW, I believe the crab carapace pictured here is that of a Libinia crab, also known as a Longnosed Crab,(Imagine that!)

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  3. Impressive camera work, RH! If you have the opportunity, try to collect a live Sea Biscuit (Meoma ventricosa), a hardy Echinoderm species. Most will be harbouring several symbiotic Pea Crabs(Dissodactylus primitivus). They lend themselves to very interesting,even endearing photographs. I believe I remember seeing numerous Meomas inside Tilloo channel near the first turn inbound. They’re a Helmet Conch’s favorite food. Ask around, I’m sure many locals could find a few for you to photograph. Also, there’s a Host- specific commensal shrimp(Tuleareocaris neglecta), on many Diademas(Long-spined Black Sea Urchins). These are small, sleek and black, and will be more of a challenge to photograph. Divers can easily dislodge them by elevating an urchin w/ a dive knife or reasonable facsimile, then tapping the urchin a few times. This should allow some to free-fall, which can then be caught in a wide-mouthed jar. When placed in a bucket or aquarium, they will return to their host. Good luck!

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