Saturday, June 14, 2008

Beachcombing finds at Cottesloe

I now realize that it's not easy to maintain a blog that is only about my snorkeling experience. Sometimes, there will be nothing to write about : (

I did snorkel today. But there was really nothing interesting except those fishes that I have photographed before - the banded sweep, banded toadfish, and a few others whose names I couldn't recall now. And some garfishes too. I haven't shown their photos here. I have seen them so many times in shallow water. They are usually in a school of at least 5. Today I saw a school of at least 15 I think.They just swim too fast for me to take a proper photo.

If it wasn't for the turbidity, I would have taken some photos of the winter underwater landscape too. It really looks different.

Anyway, let me show you some photos I took on the shore.

Green alga.

This animal (has to be) has the wire weed grown through it. I wonder why...

This must be one of those calcified algae. It looks like it was carved out of a precious stone.

I have never seen the sea urchin in the first two photos underwater. It is more flattened compared to the common one (red, the third photo), and its spines are clearly thicker. The red one is the one that you will see again and again amid the drying or decomposing wrack on the South Cottesloe beach.

I took the photo of this sponge because it had a dead brittle star on it - the white sea star-like critter. It differs from sea stars in a few ways. For example, it has no anus. And it can move much faster than a sea star using its flexible, slender, long arms. But just like the sea star, the brittle star can regenerate a lost arm.

By the way, I tried looking for that tree trunk that was covered in barnacles, which I wrote about in my earlier post, but it was gone. Hopefully it was washed back into the ocean. I don't think those barnacles can last too long before they get baked and killed in the sun. Having said that, they certainly don't look pretty enough to tempt anyone to take them home : )

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