Posts tagged ‘Rocks’

Is the sea anemone a plant or an animal?

When it is time to feed, the sea anemone will open up like a flower.

The sea anemone (pronounced “un NEM oh nee”) is a strange sea animal whose many graceful tentacles (tiny arms) often look like the petals of a flower.

Sea Anemone

A cluster of sea anemones looks very much like an undersea garden of brightly colored, red, purple, green, and blue blossoms.

Although sea anemones may look like harmless flowers, their touch means death to small fishes and other small sea creatures.

When a small fish happens to swim too close to the sea anemone and touch the tentacles, tiny, needle-like poisoned threads shoot out of the tentacles and sting the fish.

Then the tentacles drag the helpless prey into the sea anemone’s mouth.

The foot of the sea anemone allows it to slide about slowly on rocks.  But usually, they anchor themselves by gripping rocks, shells, or burrow into the sandy floor of the ocean.

Then a sea anemone is disturbed, it pulls its tentacles inside the body.  It then looks like a round lump on the rock. – Dick Rogers

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How do barnacles get on a ship’s hull?

Barnacles on Ship Hull

Barnacles can swim at birth.  When they reach adult stage, they attach themselves to objects in the water and grow a shell.

If you have ever visited a seacoast where there were rocks and piers you have almost certainly seen barnacles, for the “crush” you saw on the wharf’s pilings and the rocks was made up of millions of salt water shellfish called barnacles.

When barnacle is first hatched, it resembles a young water flea and can swim about in the water.

But when it reaches adult stage it can no longer swim, so it attaches itself to any convenient object, such as the hull of a ship, piling, rock, whale, or even a sting of seaweed.

Once attached, a hard lime-like shell  forms around the barnacles.  The barnacle eats by waving its feathery legs through an opening in the shell to pull tiny sea creatures and plants into its mouth.

In olden days, sailor of wooden sailing ships had to periodically pull their ships ashore to scrape off the masses of barnacles clinging to the hulls, because they reduced the ship’s speed and made steering difficult.  Today, special paints, prevent growth of barnacles. – Dick Rogers

How does a snail move?

Garden Snail

The common snail is slowly inched forward by wavelike motions of its muscular foot.

Almost everyone is familiar with the common garden snail.  Snails are small animals that usually carry their shells on their backs and leave stick trails of goo behind as they creep along.

A snail moves around by creeping on a part of its body that seems to be its stomach.  It is really a broad foot.

The muscles move in a backward, wavelike motion that causes the snail to inch slowly forward.

As the snail moves along, special glands in its foot pour out a slimy fluid that serves as a slippery path to help the snail slide along more easily.

The goo also helps protect the snail’s body as it crawls over sharp twigs and rocks.

As the snail creeps along on its slick pathway, only its head and big foot are out of the shell.

The snail’s eyes are on the tips of its feelers.

To escape dry weather, the snail seals itself inside its shell house with a “door” a dried goo.  – Dick Rogers

 

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