Posts Tagged 'shells'

Shells

I am entering observations of animals on iNaturalist with dispatch and alacrity. That includes the structures made by animals, like the shells on this page. All the ones on this post were found last weekend on the shores of Red Hook, Brooklyn. I’m still waiting an ID on the mollusk who made the lovely shell above. Possibly Threeline Mudsnails (Tritia trivittata). That’s a centimeter scale at the top.
These, too, remain a mystery.
The most common find at this tiny sweep of rocky beach are the former homes of the Eastern Mudsnail, Tritia obsoleta. The species has had quite a taxonomic career, with six synonyms listed on its Wikipedia page. The binomial Ilyanassa obsoleta (Say) is used in a book published just last year.
This is, of course, a Blue Mussel (Mytilus edulis). A rather young one. When I say “of course,” I mean I grew up with and know them like the back of my hand. I don’t think most New Yorkers know they live in the waters of our archipelago.

Chesapecten

These are fossilized shells of extinct scallops found on the Piankatank River in Virginia. They’re in the genus Chesapecten, all of whose members no longer live upon this earth. Such mineralized remains are dated from the early Miocene period to the early Pleistocene.

Here’s more detail about the rich fossil world of the Chesapeake.

*
Trump yearns for an FBI to go after journalists. Secretary of Corruption (formerly Commerce) Wilbur Ross praises the lack of protests in the dictatorship of Saudi Arabia. A reporter was arrested when he tried to question Secretary of Death (formerly Health) Tom Price. Meanwhile, the Trump regime has been rather shameless about Turkish gestapo tactics in the heart of Washington D.C., because pretty clearly they want to be able to emulate them. After all, they cite the murderous kleptocracy of Putin’s Russia as a model.

Those who are against our best traditions are not patriots. They are, in fact, traitors. Never, ever, let supporters of Trump get away with claims of patriotism again.

Milestone Shell

Triplofusus giganteusA milestone: after six and one half years of blogging, I have reached WordPress’s 3GB maximum of free image storage. This is at least one picture a day, probably more on average, for some 2375 days. Wow! Feel free to wander about in the voluminous archives, loosely cataloged by subject…

But now I have to pay to continue playing here. I’ve resolutely kept advertising at bay (although Word Press hasn’t; some people see ads on individual posts, but I’ve never gotten any revenue from this), and am trying to figure out my next steps to maintain this project.

But in the meantime, how about this Florida Horse Conch shell (Triplofusus giganteus). It is 16″/41cm long and was M’s Florida grandmother’s, so we have no idea how long it has been beached. I was not aware there were such large univalves in American waters — the species ranges from North Carolina south. I’m used to the Knobbed and Channeled Whelks up here in our chilly currents.

This is Florida’s state shell. They can get up to two feet long, making them our largest gastropod. The soft part of the animal — but how can you separate the soft parts from the hard shell? isn’t that like taking the skeleton out of a vertebrate? — is a great carnivore and a startlingly bright orange/coral color.

Tomorrow’s Beach

shellsMasses of these tiny clams were on their way to becoming Plumb Beach.

Wash Your Rocks

RocksOne of the earliest disillusionments is the transformation of the beautiful seashell or river rock into something rather dull once it has dried out. Whence the magic of the beach-combing discovery, the footloose, and probably bare-footed, sojourn along the edges of the ocean/pond/lake/stream/river, where the gleaming thing captured our eye? I understand that shell collectors oil their shells for best effect and photographs. I just used water here.

Dry.

Dry.

Wet.

Wet.

As I understand it (but I’m no Governor of Florida or New Jersey), the problem is one of light, or rather our perception of light. When light hits a water- or oil- covered surface, it bounces back with some uniformity. Things look shiny and new, gleaming and jewel-like. When light hits a dried-out surface, all the gnarliness of that surface means the light will be scattered helter-skelter, looking dull and so over its celebrity.

Red Hook Saunter

Red Hook is the name of the eastern-most town in St. Thomas, USVI, but I’m back home in Brooklyn now, where Red Hook is a neighborhood.Long a working-class dock-side neighborhood, it’s relatively tree-less compared to Brownstone Brooklyn. The City’s Million Trees program is trying to change that (although who cares for the trees once planted remains a bit of a mystery).This cultivar of the American Elm is Dutch Elm-resistant, but it isn’t immune. So I’m thinking they should not have planted two of these next to each other.In addition to this Northern Mockingbird, I spotted Double-crested Cormorant, Brant, Gadwell, Bufflehead, American Black Duck, Red-tailed Hawk, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Rock Dove, Starling (already with the yellow bills of breeding), House Sparrow.At the little rock beach at Valentino Pier, several species of marine mollusks were readily found.As well as the usual flotsam and jetsam of the wrack line.Speaking of lines, Red Hook, which takes its name for the Dutch for Red Point, after the color of the soil and the area’s original shape, is a sitting duck for storm surges.Something this mural at Valentino Pier seems to be suggesting. The Great Wave Off Red Hook: I hope not to see it.

Natural Object: Moon Snail

Detail of the spire of a shell of an Atlantic moon snail, also known as a shark’s eye. Polinices duplicatus is found from Cape Cod to Texas. This one was found on the beach at Breezy Point, Queens, NYC.


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