Today’s nature table item reveals how much you don’t know about familiar items. When I was little my mother taught me that theses were slipper shells (I learnt about half a dozen shell names as a wee moorhen chick I think). They are incredibly numerous on the beach here, to the point that sometimes what you think is shingle turns out to be thousands of slipper shells. No surprise I guess, it is a area where shell fish seem to flourish.
I had also seen, completely separately, a column of shells that I didn’t actually realise were slippers until I read this. I have to say that as far as scientific names go, Crespidula fornicata is a winner, I get what it does now, no cosy slippers for this wee creature, which is in fact a limpet.
Not only that but an invasive alien limpet (which has clearly been here rather a long time if I collected it in my chickhood), which is known to damage oyster fisheries which explains what it is doing around here.
However the really cool bit is that it can change sex (apparently according to whether it is on top or on the bottom…) Go and read more about it here
It occurred to me while I was out (3 miles) that I hadn’t set parameters for my Advent Nature Table runs.
- I need to run/walk at least a mile per day
- The nature table item has to be something found on that outing
- It has to be something that I can legally bring home and photograph (i.e. small enough to carry, doesn’t fight me or bite me, I don’t have to dig it up or slaughter it, not actively living [dormant seeds etc allowed])