I thought these clear little blobs washing up on the shoreline were some stage of a jellyfish life-cycle. However, I now think that they are sea gooseberries (Pleurobrachia pileus, in the phylum Ctenophora – so not even a jellyfish at all).
A sea gooseberry on an oystershell
I wasn’t sure if these things could sting, which is why I put this one on a shell to photograph it. However, unlike jellyfish, sea gooseberries don’t even have stingers.
A sadder sight lately along the tide line is the numerous dead dogfish. I guess they’re discarded by fishermen. There have been quite a lot of skate or ray carcasses too, just their spiky spines and heads with their wings removed. At least the birds love feeding on the skate remains and the flesh doesn’t last for long. By contrast, the dogfish just stick around (except for the ones that get eaten by the four-legged dogs walking on the beach – some of the local dogs seem to find part rotted dogfish particularly tasty).
One of the many dead dog fish on Llanddwyn and Penrhos beaches lately. I thought this one had particularly pretty markings.
Another dead dogfish…
A discarded midsection of a skate
One of the nicest things about the beach is that it changes all the time and every tide brings new things to see.
Last year, for the first time, I found a jelly blob. Clearly “jelly blob” is not the proper
term for it, but it does describe what it was like. A small (about 2cm across) blob of
clear jelly with jade coloured strands in it. I found out, via the Natural History Museum‘s
website, that it was actually an egg mass of the green leaf worm (Eulalia viridis). I have
kept looking, but so far I haven’t seen the adult worms.
A Jelly Blob – aka the egg mass of the green leaf worm (Eulalia viridis)
At the other extreme, was this Lion’s Mane jellyfish that washed up on Traeth Penrhos. Funnily enough, another name for this is sea blubber.
Lion’s mane (Cyanea capillata) jelly fish on Penrhos beach (and a size 5 foot)