Friday, July 27, 2012

Lovells on a "rainy" day

Lovell's was quite a painful adventure for me. Walking barefoot through periwinkle infested tide pools gave me a few cuts on the soles of my feet (the only time in my life I've ever wanted a pair of Crocs) but also a new perspective on sea life in the harbor. Lovells Island was much more subdued than the other islands that receive higher foot traffic, such as George and Castle. The feel of the island was closer to Peddocks but the tide pool ecosystem was all its own. The tide pools here were literally crawling with crabs, hermit crabs and periwinkles of all shapes and sizes. The beaches were also rocky like the other islands but the biggest rocks here were huge! Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera because I thought it was going to downpour so this post won't be as interesting as my others and I'll have to do a better job of accurately describing what I saw.

I identified smooth and rough common periwinkles, and I'm not sure what the last type of periwinkles we found were but I'll still describe it here! They were more elongated than the common periwinkle, lighter in color (white or light orange were the ones we found),  and the "trap door" was tucked much further away from the edge of the shell than with the common periwinkles. One variety of this snail had rough ridges all around it while one of them was on the smoother side. My favorite animal I spotted yesterday was the hermit crab. There were alot of very tiny ones bumping around in the tidal pool but I liked staring at what I thought was dormant periwinkles or rocks and seeing them come to life and interact with each other. There was also orange sheath tunicates and the squirting tunicates that we saw on the docks on the firs day. There were a few varieties of seaweed as well, including a white, small, spindly plant. It grew like a mini hedge and was attached to rocks.

The land snail we found was a brown lipped snail, according to Harvard Entomology. I think these shells showed up on the rock on the shore because something was eating them (a rabbit, a tern) since they were broken and so clumped together on the sand, which is impossible for them to travel on. According to Harvard Entomology, the brown lipped snail "is eaten by birds, invertebrate predators (beetles and others), and small mammals."


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