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!
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
WEST INDIAN TOP-SHELLS (Cittarium Pica)
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…
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…
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
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
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
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/