Last weekend, I went for a walk along Rippleside to Eastern Beach with the little dude. It was a sunny day and the first chance to leave the house and actually adventure.
I’d gotten ‘plantar fasciitis’ 10 days earlier and had barely walked, so was desperate to walk a couple of k’s.
We’d barely started walking when Sethy noticed the first crab:
It was close enough to get out of the water, so we took it out to get a closer look at it’s features. I’ll be going through the photos and trying to ID it later. All I know is identifying animals is so tricky!
We ended up seeing about 20 of these crabs. We had a competition to see who could see the most, but Seth was winning 3-1. I swear, if you need to find any animals then he is brilliant.
Okay… maybe I made a mistake! In the past, people haven’t been able to ID some shore crabs because you couldn’t clearly see the carapace. It turns out the carapace is the hard upper shell! I thought it was the bottom.
I turned over that crab and got bloody nipped by it, it hurt too.
I’m guessing they meant that my photographs were side views, or not totally from the top which is understandable. I’ll revisit my book.
I’m now pretty sure it is Paragrapsus quadridentatus, or notched shore crab, because they ‘have a small notch in the carapace, just behind the eye socket’. Thank you, Barwon Bluff! I accidentally learned something today. Also glad I took macro photos. I’ll be doing some more research to see if how I can get better photos and ID stuff in the field.
We saw this, which I initially thought was a baby sting ray due to the shape. After some reading, I’m now thinking that is a flatworm with some delightful fecal matter.
I have no idea what the above is. I tried using Fishes of Australia without much luck. Someone obviously has a lot to learn!
A teeny crab. Wouldn’t know where to start with ID, but suspect juv notched shore crab.
The above is a ‘sphaeromatidae isopod crustacean.’ I emailed the museum thinking they were chitons. That makes sense!
I’m curious to know whether anyone is studying. There seems to be so much to discover about marine life, especially along Port Phillip Bay. Gio Fitzpatrick discovered a spider that was previously thought to be extinct. Rob Burns, Mr Mollusc, discovered over 100 nudibranches. No-one really has the time nor the resources to study stuff, so it is left up to citizen scientists.
It’s just how can the scientific community help those like me? How I can then help make identification easier?
That is all stuff I can think about later. For now, though, I’m mostly curious as to whether anyone is researching these and forming easy to understand ID keys.
Thanks to this link I know there are 203 species in Australia and that new ones have been discovered off Lizard Island. It’s definitely something to look into.
When I first saw this guy I thought it was a sea cucumber. Then I saw the yellow stuff coming out of its rear. It looked something like yolk so it made me wonder if it was a creature that was recently birthed.
I did think it may be its guts but it didn’t appear to be injured.
It turns out there is a thing called evisceration, where a sea cucumber expels its guts as a defence mechanism. I don’t recommend reading up on it when having dinner unless you want to lose your appetite. It’s face looked pretty wicked though.
What looks like a jellyfish
A great trip where we accidentally learned stuff. Didn’t see stingrays of fish along Eastern Beach, nor many fisherman at Limeburners Point. It’s pretty awesome we could find such diversity close to home and didn’t have to find rockpools on the peninsula or further afield.