Limpets on rusty iron

Limpets on rusty iron (1) -  Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to rusty iron seaside pier.

I like the appearance of rust and I’m always looking out for interesting colours, patterns, and textures in oxidising iron. A good place to look is the metalwork on seaside groynes and piers which are invariably corroded by seawater. I find it amazing that small seaside creatures like limpets settle in these seemingly inhospitable locations where they eek out a living by grazing the microscopic algae that coat the surfaces. In their turn, as the limpets cling on to these man-made objects, the shells become stained by the orange of the rust and the green of the algae so that they blend into the overall constantly evolving design.

Limpets on rusty iron (2) -  Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (3) -  Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (4) -  Living limpets (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (5) -  Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (6) - Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (7) - Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (8) - Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (9) - Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (10) - Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (11) - Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2013

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Tiny Tidepool 1

 

This short video clip shows two small limpets (Patella sp.), with shells colourfully adorned by a coating of microscopic green algae, and patches of pale purple encrusting calcareous seaweed (Lithamnion sp.). The underwater pair are jostling against each other in a tiny tidepool at Fall Bay, Gower, UK.

If you look closely, you can see short fine translucent tentacles which are the pallial gills protruding from the body all around the margin of the shells. These gills on the mantle skirt are usually hidden from view when limpets cling to exposed rocks at low tide. The manoeuvering of the limpets may be a preparatory behaviour for mating. Patella limpets have separate sexes but all hatch out as males and later may develop into female individuals. This is known as protandric hemaphroditism. Click here for more information about common limpets on the Marine Life Information Network

The Carboniferous Limestone rock outcrops on the beach have been eroded by the sea and weathered into thousands of scooped-out hollows that retain sea-water when the tide goes out. These pools are home to many seashore creatures and seaweeds. Most are entirely lined, as in this example, with a coating are the lilac/purple/grey Lithamnion calcareous seaweed. Small niches are occupied by other miniscule limpets, an edible blue-shelled common mussel (Mytilus edulis Linnaeus), and a dark red beadlet anemone -Actinia equina (Linnaeus). A single minute navy-blue arthropod Anurida maritima (Guerin) from the Neanuridae Family scuttles across the water on the surface film. 

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2011

All Rights Reserved

Rock pools on the Causeway

Rock pool on Worms Head Causeway, Gower, South Wales, UK - a digitally modified photograph (1)

With the tide out, the extensive wave-cut platform that links the Rhossili headland to Worms Head is covered with rock pools full of seashore life – for some of which it is a permanent habitat, and for the remainder, a transient stranding.

In the bright sunlight of an early summer morning, a multi-coloured vista stretches far before the eye. The still water of the tide pools reflects the almost cloudless pale blue sky and contrasts with the rough grey rocks with their occasional patches of orange and pink. The seaweeds, like the purple coral weed and olive green kelps and fucoids, cover the low tide exposed surfaces and underwater, too. Limpets and winkles graze the algae-coated stone, joined in their shallow submarine world by shrimps, crabs, and fishes. The whole horizon a patchwork of biodiversity and colour.

The digital transformation of these photographs seeks to encapsulate the sense of space, brightness, colour, and wonder that I felt at the time.

Rock pools with reflections and seaweeds on Worms Head Causeway, Gower, South Wales, UK, a wave-cut platform of Carboniferous Limestone - a digitally modified photograph (2)

Rock pool with Coral Weed and grazing molluscs on Worms Head Causeway, Gower, South Wales, UK - a digitally modified photograph (3)

Rock pool with Serrated or Toothed Wrack and Coral Weed on Worms Head Causeway, Gower, South Wales, UK - a digitally modified photograph (4)

Rock pool with a large swimming Nurse Hound fish on Worms Head Causeway, Gower, South Wales, UK - a digitally modified photograph (5)

Rock pool with a large frond of kelp amongst the coral weed on Worms Head Causeway, Gower, South Wales, UK - a digitally modified photograph (6)

A vista of rocks and tide pools with reflections and seaweeds on Worms Head Causeway, Gower, South Wales, UK, a wave-cut platform of Carboniferous Limestone, with Worms Head in the background - a digitally modified photograph (7)

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2011

All Rights Reserved

A striped limpet on an orange rock with barnacles

Just thought this bright picture of a striped limpet attached to a wet, orange-coloured rock, with some acorn barnacles, would be a cheerful addition to the blog on this wet and windy day.

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2012

All Rights Reserved