Posts tagged ‘Seashore’

How do a clam eat?

A clam gets its food from the water.  Food enters by way of the clam’s siphon or “neck.”

A clam is an animal whose soft body is protected by two hard shells that close over it like the covers of a book.  There are many kinds of clams, in many parts of the world.  Some clams lives on the bottoms of oceans, others live on the muddy bottoms of lakes and streams.

Clams called soft-shell clams live buried in the sand along seashores.  They are sometimes called “longneck” clams since they have a long siphon which people call a “neck.”

Clam

When the tide covers the sand the soft-shell clam opens up its shell and pushes its long siphon up through the sand to the water above.  It sucks water into its body and digests the tiny plants and other food particles it finds in the water.

When the tidies out, the clam pulls in its siphon.  This causes a little spurt of water which shows someone who is hunting clams where the clam is hidden.

The American Indians taught the Pilgrims how to dig clams along the beach.  Today a favorite picnic in many towns along the seashore is the clambake. – Dick Rogers

What are mollusks?

Mollusks

If you have ever collected shells at the seashore, probably most of the shells you found were once the homes of living animal called mollusks.

The most familiar mollusks are probably clams, oysters, octopuses, squids, snails and slugs.

Most mollusks are related, or alike, in certain ways.  Mollusks are soft-bodied animals without bones.

Most kinds of mollusks, including clams and oysters, have hard shells that protect their soft bodies.

Other kinds, such as cuttlefish and squids, have no shells that show.  A special shell grows inside their bodies.

Octopuses and some slugs have no shell at all.

Mollusks live in most parts of the world.  Some, such as snails and slugs, live on land.  Others are found in rivers, lakes and ponds.  But the greatest number of mollusks are ocean dwellers.

Mollusks furnish us with food.  Their shells are made into many products, including buttons and jewelry.  – Dick Rogers

 

What is a sea gull?

Around the seacoast there is probably no bird more familiar than the sea gull.

It is a large, long-winged bird with mostly white feathers.  Its graceful soaring and wheeling flight makes the sea gull a pleasure to watch.

Sea gulls have webbed feet and often alight on the water to feed or rest.  They float and swim easily, often roosting on the waves.

Sea Gull

Sea gulls are the scavengers of the seashore.  A sea gull will eat almost any kind of food it can swallow.  Its favorite food is garbage.

Sea gulls often follow ships for many miles, eagerly swooping down upon any garbage that is thrown overboard.  Large flocks congregate in harbors where there are plenty of floating scraps of food to eat.

Besides garbage, sea gulls eat fish and will even rob the nests of other birds for eggs.

Thousands of sea gulls will often be found nesting on the same island or rock cliff. – Dick Rogers

 

What does the pelican use its pouch for?

Pelican

Pelican are large, queer-looking water birds.  A pelican is easily recognized by the big pouch that hangs from the underside of its long beak.

The pelican does not store food in this pouch, as many people believe.  It uses the pouch as a scoop to catch fish, which are then quickly swallowed.

Pelicans known as “brown pelicans” are often seen along seashores.  To catch a fish, the brown pelican dives straight down into the water with open bill into a school of fish, scoops one up in his pouch, and swallows it.

While pelicans cannot dive under the water.  They hunt their fish while swimming in shallow water, using the big pouches under their long beaks as dragnets to capture small fish.

A pelican feeds its young by passing partly digested food from its stomach back up into the pouch.

The baby pelican sticks its head into the parent’s pouch and pecks-up the food.  – 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