Thursday, May 12, 2016

No star is an island

A few more starfish. But nothing on the shore lives alone; the more time you spend looking, the more complex you realize the community is. Even in a simple photo of a stone and a star, there's something I didn't see until I got it home.

I think these two are juvenile mottled stars. Look for the fly on the upper snail shell, an opportunist dropping in for a snack as soon as I turned over the stone. Also if you look closely, you may find four baby (infant) sea urchins, tiny snails, and a flatworm.

Four-and-a-quarter arm star. Ochre sea star, with purple tips to his arms. On a bed of assorted seaweeds, over sandstone. Between the weed and the stone, a scramble of hermit crabs.

A small purple star with an unusual stripe down his arms. Around him on the stone, a few worms in their own casing of sand, exposed when I flipped the stone. The spirals are calcareous tubeworms, and the slimy stuff may be flatworm eggs, but I wonder about the patch at the bottom, with its smokestack.

Two more juvenile mottled stars. purple and pink, and blue and green. Also present; a hermit, all scrunched up, the remains of a bryozoan colony, barnacles, tubeworms, bits of a pink encrustation, and seaweed.
Coming up: worms, worms, worms.

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