Found this week in Poole - any help identifying the species of Crab this limb belongs to would be much appreciated and, more interestingly, the 'jelly' in the other photos. Could this be a Comb Jelly?
Yes it certainly looks like a comb jelly. You can just see a hint of the iridescence that these wonderful little jellies are known for. In water when alive, they they hover with lines of these iridescent cilia motoring them along like a little alien space craft! - truely worth looking for.
The crab leg is that of the edible crab, Cancer pagurus. The colour is an initial clue, coupled with the bristled nature of the leg, and the build of the leg in general. Definately from the edible crab.
Judging by the degree of wear showing on the tip of the claw - how rounded the tip is - this crab molted some time ago. Or maybe this is the old shed leg of a freshly molted crab.
It may not at first seem to be an interesting find, but take a good look at legs of the crab species we have around our shores and they can tell a lot about the species and lifestyles, Cancer pagurus is a heavily build bottom dwelling crab. Small specimens are easily found under rocks on the lower shore, whereas the bigger specimens are generally caught off-shore. They are at home on a rocky seabed, but can equally be found to be excavating large pits in silty sands looking for shellfish. Powerful crabs, these are the ones you see in the fish shops with the "pie-crust" edge to the shell - a big unmistakable crab. Thank you for posting the photo.
Thanks a lot Andy.
Re the Comb Jelly, if anyone else can help with a specific ID, I'd love to hear it ... or maybe 'Comb Jelly' is as specific as is possible just from a phoo - it was about an inch long
Comb jelly or Ctenophora is a big group, a Phylum (our Phylum includes mammals,birds,reptiles,amphibians,seasquirts), but NBN gateway at http://data.nbn.org.uk/speciesInfo/taxonomy.jsp?searchTerm=ctenophora&spKey=NHMSYS0000065974 lists (when you click the "lower taxa" plus box) just 3, the 2 common ones Pleurobrachia pileus (sea gooseberry) & Beroe Cucumis, & the occasional Bolinopsis infundbulum with a more complicated structure.So this is definitely Pleurobrachia pileus, eg http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/247819 , & live http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=E50.