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3141 Views 3 Replies Last post: Sep 17, 2012 2:30 PM by rhossilian RSS
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Jul 18, 2010 9:43 PM

What is this?  Found on a beach on the gower.

Hi there

 

My nan found this on a beach down the Gower in south Wales and would like to know what it is.  Apparently there were a lot of these washed up on the beach.  They are some sort of pods attached to what was a rubbery half circle of matter.  They are very small, perhaps 5mm high. Now it's dry it is very brittle.  Has anyone got any idea what this is as we have never seen it before?

 

Many thanks

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    Aug 23, 2010 9:15 AM (in response to Thornton)
    Re: What is this?  Found on a beach on the gower.
    I wonder if they were partially dried out sea squirts?
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    Sep 17, 2012 2:32 PM (in response to Thornton)
    Re: What is this?  Found on a beach on the gower.

    It's 1) netted dogwhelk egg cases;type "netted dog whelk cases" in google images & you'll see the transparent 'live' egg cases,& particularly note the "copywright Jessica Wilder" one showing the used opaque cases & laid 'en masse' rather than 1 row (they can get laid on all sorts of things). What they're on I'd've had no idea but for your mention of "rubbery half circle" which is a good description of the 2) the "egg masses" of  the necklace shell Euspira catena( they're fashioned using sand or muddy sand & mucus). From your 1st photo which shows the band isn't flat, it must be the large necklace shell's as the egg mass of the related Alder's necklace shell is flat.

    NB if you look in MarLIN (marlin.ac.uk) for Euspira, it includes a photo of an egg mass, which has netted dog whelk cases attached inside.(but the subtext is in error or at least confusing!)

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    Sep 17, 2012 2:30 PM (in response to Thornton)
    Re: What is this?  Found on a beach on the gower.

    I've had 2nd thoughts on the netted dog whelk identification. (that it's more likely Hinia incrassata egg capsules)

    Photos of netted/thick-lipped egg capsules are in several uk sealife books & on the net, as in

    Marlin

     

    http://www.marlin.ac.uk/speciesinformation.php?speciesID=3496#

    has strip of netted dog whelk photos of which 7th,8th & 12th are of their egg capsules (12th might be opaque)

    or Britishmarinelifepictures 

    http://www.britishmarinelifepictures.co.uk/netted-dog-whelk-hinia-reticulata

    All but 1 of these are transparent with many tiny eggs inside.

    but there are also pics of opaque egg capsules, eg

    Jessica's nature blog

     

     

    http://natureinfocus.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/netted-dog-whelks-from-studland-bay/

    shows a great mass of opaque egg capsules.

      & Marlin's necklace shell

     

    http://www.marlin.ac.uk/speciesinformation.php?speciesID=3325

    the 2nd in the strip of photos shows egg capsules just like Thornton's

    All these 5 have the same shape as in Thornton's photos,& presumably opaque egg capsules are spent capsules.

    But descriptions of netted dog whelk eggs in several books say they are laid in neat rows; & Collins seashore guide 1996(Hayward etc), also states that Hinia incrassata (Thick-lipped dog whelk) has egg capsules "similar to H. reticulata, but usually in clusters".

    Regarding other possibilities, Sea squirts always have 2 prominent openings;& the sponge Scypha (=Grantia) compressa can individually look very like, but numbers of them are too variable, as Google images shows.

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