Friday, November 18, 2011

Southeaster

Today is blowing a gale in Cape Town, but that didn't stop us from taking the dogs for a windy walk on Fish Hoek Beach. The Southeaster had cast all manner of life up onto the beach like this Bluebottle (Physalia physalis) and Violet Snail (Janthina janthina): prey and predator.Darwin was fascinated by barnacles and this in one of the barnacles he studied - the Buoy Barnacle (Dosima fascicularis) which has washed up on Fish Hoek Beach in great numbers.
It looks like a large version of the Goose Barnacle but has its own plastic-looking float. Apparently these chaps have benefitted from all the human-generated flotsam and jetsam in the ocean as their juveniles use it to settle on before they make their own floats.
Another Violet Snail or Bubble Raft Shell - a gastropod that floats on the open ocean using mucous-coated bubbles that it secretes from its foot. It eats bluebottles.
A deserted and windswept Fish Hoek - with the car park rapidly filling up with sand. Tomorrow I hear the weather will be utterly perfect.

6 comments:

  1. What fascinating creatures

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  2. Amazing pics, and fun creatures.

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  3. I read on Facebook about the Buoy Barnacles washing up. Amazing. I'm kinda getting more and more worried about the wind for our visit end of Dec. I hope my new tent can handle it.

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