Saturday, 21 October 2017

Creels and Sea Squirts

 Creels piled up on the pier at Lower Largo.

Many of the creels have sea squirts attached and many are also encrusted with tiny mussels.
Sea Squirts also known as ascidians, are a marine class of animals that fall between the invertebrates and the vertebrates. They are simple animals that are often categorised with the invertebrates, however in their larval stage they do possess primitive vertebrate characteristics.
                 

Although, as here, they may form clusters these particular sea squirts live as individual animals. They feed by siphoning nutrients from sea water. There are two short tubes or siphon openings which allow a flow of water through the body. Water is drawn through the inhalant siphon, and then expelled via the exhalent siphon. As the water circulates through the body; food and oxygen are removed from it and waste products are expelled.

If they are disturbed, they will force the water they contain out of both siphons at the same time which is how they get their name of sea squirt.
A photo taken in a previous year of a creel covered in sea squirts and brittle stars.
Brittle stars or ophiuroids are echinoderms in the class Ophiuroidea closely related to starfish. They differ from starfish in that they have an obvious circular central disc from which arise the five thin, very flexible arms which break easily, hence the name. They often occur in large number under stones lying on gravel and rough sand between large rocks.They crawl across the sea floor using their flexible arms for locomotion. Because the ophiuroids have longer, more slender arms than starfish, they are also known as serpent stars; the class name Ophiuroidea is derived from the Greek meaning "serpent".

Friday, 13 October 2017

October Red Admirals

This has been a very poor year for butterflies, but with the milder weather this week there have been quite a lot of red admirals about.
 Red admirals seem particularly fond of the valerian flowers in my garden.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Sparrowhawk

Strange to see a sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) standing on a pavement in Lundin Links, as I've normally seen them perched on a post or fence. I thought it might be sick or injured, as I got quite close to it but then it heard some small birds chirping in nearby bushes and off it went diving into the bushes in search of its prey.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Heron on Top of the Viaduct

 Spotted a heron at the top of the viaduct in Lower Largo.
 Stretching


Wednesday, 28 June 2017

In the Forth today.

Looking across the Forth today could just make out the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

A Tiny Mouse

A tiny mouse by the side of the path in Monsal Dale. Obligingly it stayed absolutely still as I took its picture.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Helicopter on the Golf Course

You know that there's an election in a few days time when a helicopter lands on a golf course and thankfully, it's not because someone is being lifted to hospital by air ambulance which was what I thought when I first heard it.
Helicopter after landing at Lundin Ladies Golf Course yesterday afternoon.