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Mystery sea objects – Update!

April 27, 2009

eggsChers Amis,

I need your help identifying these tiny objects.  Pippin found a branch of sea whip on the shore and brought it to me as I was sketching.  He was intrigued by these ‘crystals’ affixed to a bare spot and now so am I.  They were approximately 1-2 mm long.  My guess is that they’re either eggs or larval forms of some sea creature.  Any ideas?  Jennifer? Theresa?


PS –  We are back from the beach, van solidly encrusted with four days of salt and sand.  More to come!


After consulting with  several marine biologists about the identity of my mystery objects here is the verdict:

“We believe this “organism” is a spent (already hatched) egg case from a gastropod (snail).   Some snails in the Usosalpinx taxon (oyster drills) lay similar egg cases but without the pointy projections observed in these specimens. We’re not sure what species laid this egg case. There are a number of species associates including a variety of snails that live in a commensal way with sea whips, sea fans, and other gorgonian corals in the Western and South Atlantic.”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 28, 2009 4:55 am

    Wow, I don’t really know. It’s simply beautiful though!

  2. April 28, 2009 5:20 am

    I am on a mission now to find out what these are. I have learned a lot about sea whips in the last few days and am going to contact a marine biologist that was recommended. I will keep you posted!

  3. April 29, 2009 2:34 pm

    Do let us know, Marjorie!

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