The pictures used in Dumpling Goes to the Beach are from photo's taken during an afternoons walk along a beach at low tide.
All the photos were from this group of rocks on a beach in Port Fairy, South West Victoria, in Australia.
Neptunes Necklace (Hormosira banksii)
Sometimes called ‘sea grapes’, Neptunes Necklace is found in sheltered reefs and the lower intertidal zone. It is made up of water filled beads, joined together by a short stalk. The outside surface of each bead is roughened by pores that contain the reproductive cells.
It occurs in several different forms that were once thought to be different species. Because of it’s high iodine content, Tasmanian school children were once urged to eat a bead a day to keep goitre away. (No wonder Dumpling doesn’t look happy).
Chitions are molluscs found in the intertidal zone and in shallow water. They are well adapted for life on wave-swept rocks with their protective shell. There are around 600 species of chiton world wide with about a quarter of these found in Australia.
Chitons move slowly, with most species being more active after dusk than during the day. They feed on encrusting algae, bryozoans and sponges by scraping them off with a long radula toungue.
Kelp, like all seaweeds, are algae. Brown algae is easy to recognise because it is, well, brown. This is caused by the photosynthetic pigment fucoxanthin combined with chlorophyll and other pigments. The longest and heaviest seaweeds are brown algaes. Some are also the fastest growing.
I believe this to be Bull Kelp (Durvillaea Potatorum). It attaches itself to hard surfaces, such as rocks, using a disc-shaped holdfast. It can often be found washed up on the beach. Bull Kelp contains a compound known as sodium alginate which causes liquids to gel, this can be used as an emulsifier in products you buy at the supermarket.
Mussels are bivalve molluscs. This means they have two shells, or valves, joined by an elastic ligament. Mussel shells are angular at one end, rounded at the other and are longer than wide. They are usually found in groups, attached to rocks. They are preyed upon by other molluscs, such as Flinder’s Lepsiella (Lepsiella flindrsi).
Anenomes are round in shape with a central mouth surrounded by one or more rings of tentacles. Because the body is supported by water pressure, they are not able to support themselves or operate tentacles at low-tide. You will often see them looking like a round blob of jelly with a hole in the middle, if they are not covered by water during low tide. They come in various colours with most species occurring in tropical water.
Crabs are crustaceans. Their main and central body part is the hard shell known as the carapace. They have ten limbs, five on either side of the carapace. The first pair have a claw and the other four pairs are used for walking. In swimming crabs, such as the sand crab (Ovalipes Australiensis), the last pair are paddle shaped for digging and swimming
And last is Dumpling. Tired after a day of exploring. Or maybe a day of eating and sleeping.
References: Davey, K. (1998) A photographic guide to seashore life in Australia. Edgar, G.J. (2000) Australian marine life: the plants and animals of temperate waters.