Tag Archives: seashells

Goose barnacles

These goose barnacles, clinging to a marker buoy and a whisky bottle, have been thrown ashore by the storms. Goose barnacles have the smoothest, lustrous, pearly-white shells and look more like some kind of mussel than the jagged little barnacles that coat the rocks.

Common goose barnacles clinging to the pin of a marker buoy

Common goose barnacles clinging to the pin of a marker buoy

Goose barnacles washed ashore on a marker buoy

Goose barnacles washed ashore on a marker buoy

Baby goose barnacles with Grants whisky...

Baby goose barnacles with Grants whisky…

Sometimes they’re called goose-neck barnacles, or smooth goose barnacles or common goose barnacles. All the goose-y references are said to originate from old beliefs that geese hatched from the shells.

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Between the storms

Following the pre-Christmas storms, Penrhos Beach looks like an apocalypse zone for shellfish: millions of their shells have been torn up and strewn across the sands.

Thousands of razor clam shells carpet the beach

Thousands of razor clam shells carpet the beach

sunriseseashells

Quite a few of the shellfish are still alive, but they’re easy pickings for the seagulls and crows who are having a proper Yuletide feast!

One of the shellfish survivors

One of the shellfish survivors

All that was left of what must have been a giant-sized crab was its claw

All that is left of what must have been a giant-sized crab is its claw

Stunningly coloured scallop shells

Stunningly coloured scallop shells

At another part of the beach, the sand has been turned black by what looks like coal dust.

In parts, the beach has been turned black with what looks like coal dust: it makes beautiful patterns

In parts, the beach has been turned black with what looks like coal dust: it makes beautiful patterns

And further along about halfway between Llanddwyn and the wreck of the brig Athena, part of an old ship’s rigging has been brought to the surface. It looks like a giant padlock, but apparently it is where one of the cross-beams on an old wooden sailing ship would have attached to the main mast.

The underside of the curve is wood the top is an iron band attached to two straps that wrap around a wooden beam (the wood is still intact)

The underside of the curve is wood the top is an iron band attached to two straps that wrap around a wooden beam at the bottom (the wood is still intact)

Tomorrow, the storms are meant to return with a vengeance :(

Mermaid’s purses and other strandline treasures

Mermaid's purses are the egg cases of certain sharks and rays.

Mermaid’s purses are the egg cases of certain sharks and rays.

Yesterday was stormy all day with gale force winds driving the tide up the shore. This mermaid’s purse was still intact.  It  probably belongs to a nursehound (aka greater spotted dog fish) – which, confusingly, is a type of cat shark (Scyliorhinus stellaris). But this is one egg that won’t make it.

Whelk egg-cases

Whelk egg-cases

The pale, bobbly egg cases of the common edible whelk (Buccinum undatum) look more like some kind of seaweed than something animal.

Whelk and other shells

Whelk and other shells

Shells were the main thing washed up by the storm:

Clam shell

Clam shell

Thick trough shell with small cockle

Thick trough shell with small cockle

Along with all the whole, undamaged shells, were lots of chippings of nacre from oyster shells, making the whole bleach glint in the sunshine.

Oystershell nacre

Oystershell nacre