Thursday, March 15, 2007
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.