Thursday, December 15, 2011

An alien tossed ashore: Phillip Island

After a week of heavy seas, waves have tossed ashore a variety of treasures, the main ones being young and adult sea squirts (cunjevoi).

These strange creatures have the look of an alien species -- at least they do to me!

Found mainly in southern Australian waters, on rocky reefs near low water mark, this remarkable creature has an outer surface like coarse reddish-orange sand paper, the perfect 'tunic' to protect the sea squirt from sharp rocks and heavy seas.

The name sea squirt came about because of the way this creature forcefully squirts out jets of water from its large twin tubes; tubes that both breathe for and feed this primitive creature.

I hope you enjoy looking at the photos of these remarkable sea animals as much as I enjoyed finding them.

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