There are few things that make a biologist as happy as being able to ramble through beautiful nature. Especially when the assignment is to “find anything interesting”. Well, that we did. We found a whole lot of interesting things on this lovely little beach! Can you recognise all the things in the pictures?
It might have been a cold and windy day, but that couldn’t stop us! Armed with crab-traps, bottles, trays, boxes and shovels, we stormed the beach. And when the sun broke through only moments later, our mood could not get any better!
Here are some of the things we found. See if you can recognise them before you read the description. It’s a good preparation if you are going on a beach holiday in summer as well!
Have you noticed the layers in the picture above? Those layers are a result of the tidal movements. We were here at low tide, so everything was above water. But as you can imagine, the lower part of the stone will be submerged again a lot sooner than the top. So organisms that can handle being dry very well, will grow easily at the top. Organisms that can’t stay out of the water for so long will grow lower on the stone.
(And have you noticed the tiny baby barnacles in the picture above? They’re so cute!)
But of course we also looked at other things, apart from shells. As seaweeds are not very photogenic, I didn’t take a lot of pictures from that. (And I think I just kind of forgot, to be honest…) But here is proof that we did find them:
The sea belt you see in the picture is a weed that can grow up to over two metres in length. The interesting thing about it, though, is that it can produce a white, sweet substance that looks a lot like sugar. No wonder it is called “sugar weed” in both Dutch and Norwegian.
Note: we did not take any rooted weeds. All findings were already lying loose on the beach.
Isn’t that pearl fish just the most strange thing? It is so long and thin and has fins that are barely even visible. While we were looking, the fish actually kept tying itself in a knot, releasing again, tying again, over and over again. It looked so surreal, but kind of cute at the same time.
So, were you able to recognise most of these creatures? Aren’t they all just amazing?
Note: we treated all findings with the utmost care and returned them to their right place as soon as possible. Turned stones were flipped back to protect the vulnerable ecosystems they hide and living animals were only kept for identification in the minimal amount of time.