Thursday, March 15, 2007

Egg case



Ok, it might be my birthday, and a significant one, but in the interest of my reader's continuing education, I am not posting about my birthday. Even if I am now forty-five years on the planet. Nevermind that. You need to know about ...

(this is a correction from yesterday's info, based on my latest research...)

whelk shell egg cases! Rather than a clam worm, as I identified yesterday, it is an egg case for whelk shells. Whelks are the same shape as conch shells, but smaller at about 5-9". Although my book says you'll find these egg cases from May - October, obviously I'm finding it early, perhaps because of our mild winter. Females create these 2 foot long papery incubation chambers and cement them to rocks and dead shells. Each capsule holds 10-15 eggs; these hatch as miniature whelks. Two weeks after hatching, the baby whelks chew through their cases, leaving a hole in each chamber. If you enlarge the photo you can see the holes.

11 comments:

julieunplugged said...

Happy birthday! Welcome to the ranks of mid-forty, mid-life. (I have your gift but it's being delivered in person [g]).

Love this photo. Odd and interesting.

Ianqui said...

Happy birthday! And thanks for educating us about clam worms...

Dalissa 365 said...

Um. ew. I think I've seen those on the beach before and thanks to you I will know what they are! ;)

and Happy Birthday, again!

Sandy said...

Well the clam worm certainly wasn't what I expected to find on your b'day post. ;-) A beautiful sunrise or sunset, pretty shells, your toes in the sand, a pretty beach towel on a chaise lounge w/ a drink nearby etc., yes but certainly not clam worms. But I must thank you because I can now say I learned something new today.

Happy Birthday, my friend! Hope you had an absolutely perfect day and I wish you a year full of love and laughter.

Sandie said...

Having never lived by an ocean beach, only visited a half dozen times in my life..I have to say this was totally new to me. Interesting, but kinda gross.

I love the picture though!

I looks like a perfect b-day.

Katrina365 said...

Very Interesting. Never heard of such a thing (not surprising since my beach time has been very limited), but you got a nice picture of it. :)

SusansPlace said...

Very nice birthday present! Even though I grew up near the beach, I can't say I've ever seen a clam worm!

Hope your day was lovely! Mid-forties and up are freeing....kind of like starting over in life. Enjoy.

Susan

Billie said...

Happy birthday!!! and I never knew that clam worms even existed. ;-)

Scrivener said...

Happy birthday!

LauraLiz said...

Thanks for sharing the beach with us! I find every single little thing on the beach just fascinating. It's a whole different world!

jeff said...

Happy Birthday! The clam worm is very interesting. How big is this one?