Over these ten years, much of the shell has dissolved into the water, and assorted algae have coated the rough outer side, creating interesting patterns. And colonies of tiny worms have made their homes in the pores, by now eroded into deep caves.
|Outer rim of abalone shell, with algae and worms|
|Abalone shell, before being tanked, 2007. The outer shell is porous. The barnacle and tubeworm remains dissolved long ago.|
The oyster, picked up on the beach after a storm, has been here only a few months. The shell was scrubbed white by wind and waves, but tank algae are at work here, too. And the oyster, not in the least fazed, is grinning.
The oyster is a filter feeder, and pumps large volumes of water in, over the gills, where edibles are caught in mucus and moved down to the mouth. What looks like teeth in those smiles are tiny tentacles. The gills are just behind them, sometimes visible when the oyster opens a bit wider.