Archive for February, 2009

What is an abalone?

Abalone

An abalone is a kind of sea snail useful for its meat and colorful shell.  It is a kind of sea snail that can be found living in most mild seas.

In many places abalones are known as “ear shells” because their single flattened shell somewhat resembles a human ear.

The abalone spends most of its life clinging to submerged rocks with its flat muscular foot.  It can fasten itself to a rock so tightly that only a knife can pry it loose.

It feeds on the plants that it can scrape off the rocks with its rasp-like tongue.  Its hard shell, which may grow from a few inches to nearly a foot long, protects the abalone’s soft body.

Abalone steak, the snail’s large foot, is a popular seafood dish in many countries.  The pearly inner lining of the shell, called “mother-of-pearl,” is used in making buttons and other ornaments.

The abalone builds its shell out of lime from the water.  The shell grows as the abalone grows. – Dick Rogers

What are barnacles?

Barnacles

A barnacle is a short salt water shellfish that attaches itself to ship hulls, rocks, docks and other underwater objects.  Anyone who goes to the seashore is likely to see barnacles.

A barnacle hatches from an egg as a tiny, free-swimming creature.  But soon it fastens itself to any convenient object, such as the hull of a ship, pilling, rock, or even a passing whale.

Once attached, a hard, limy shell grows around the barnacle. The barnacles stays for the rest of its life in the place where it settles.  It eats by waving its feathery legs through an opening in the shell to pull tiny sea creatures and plants into its mouth.

The shell has a lid that can be closed in case of danger.

To sailors the barnacle is a trouble.  Masses of them clinging to a ship’s hull reduce the ship’s speed.  The only way to remove barnacles’ shell is to put the ship in dry dock and scrape its bottom.  – Dick Rogers