A sea mouse and frozen sands

This little creature was washed up on the morning’s tide. It’s a sea mouse.

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The underside of a sea mouse (Aphrodita aculeata)

I’ve never paid enough attention to these little creatures before, because usually it is their shaggy surface showing. But this one was upside down and its segments were clear to see, reminding me of a giant woodlouse. Then I picked it up and noticed its bristles and beautiful brassy fur down its sides.

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This pictures doesn’t do it justice, but the “fur” down the sides of the “mouse” is beautiful and iridescent

The sea mouse isn’t a mouse, obviously: it’s actually a big fat worm! You can read more about them on the ecomare website. And see some fabulous microscope photos of sea mouse hairs on the Quekett website.

Today it was so cold on Penrhos beach that the soft sands above the tideline had frozen solid, creating a little frigid landscape of miniature mesas and buttes.

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Frozen sands with their miniature desert-style landscape

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