Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Barnacles die; orange sponges capture my attention
After believing we'd saved the lives of hundreds of stalked barnacles, today we found we'd not been successful. A group of eight sooty oyster catchers were gathered around the plank which had washed up onto the sand. Not one barnacle was left.
Although I felt sorry for the barnacles, I had to admit that, for a sooty oyster catcher (one of my favourite sea birds), barnacles are a great delicacy. So that is the end of the barnacle story!
Often I nudge a sea sponge with my foot -- while walking -- to see it better, but the bright orange of these sponges needed no such treatment.
People often think of sponges as plants, but they're not -- sponges are animals.
By looking closely you can see small holes (pores) that the sponge passes sea water through, to filter out microscopic food particles.
Squeezing the sponge gently I felt a softness that yielded to pressure, that was 'spongy' to the touch.