Windy Beachwalk

Today Massachusetts is windy, cold and snowy. Barefoot Beach is just windy. We knew the beach would be interesting this morning because the tide and wind would bring in treasures from the ocean.

See what we found!

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These fragile finds are a calico box crab (also called a leopard crab) and a mottled purse crab. I love the word mottled. Isn’t it fun? We left these at the learning center for other visitors to see.

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I’ve been looking for this crab, but I can’t find what it is called. It might be a young spider crab.

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Here is a small horseshoe crab shell. Horseshoe crabs leave their shells behind when they outgrow them. The rock with the stick is an example of soft coral attached to a surface. The rock has been eaten away by sponges that were attached before it washed ashore. In the ocean the coral probably had many more small branches that have broken with the tide.

Here is a great example of sea whip, another soft coral. Sea whips can be purple, red, yellow, or orange branches, like this one. We left this one in the shell box in the center for others to enjoy.

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orange sea whip

We saw many more interesting shells that I’ll post tomorrow.

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