Foursome

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The remnants of four different species: half of a sand crab (also know as a mole crab or sand flea), a dropped feather from a great black-back gull, a tiny wasp, and a scattering of salp.

Salp are fascinating little creatures. While they look like jellyfish, they are not. Salps are pelagic tunicates, and despite their gelatinous body, they are more closely related to vertebrates than to jellyfish. They form chains in the open ocean, but when there is a phytoplankton bloom, the slaps also ‘bloom’. I have been fascinated by these for years. They can’t sting, so it is safe to swim during a bloom . . . it is quite a novel experience, like swimming through jello, and the tideline actually can become slippery! Yes, I have slipped on these little creatures!

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