Friday, April 14, 2006

Sandspit Critters

Blue crab attacks Jeep cap.

In my hand above is a lightning whelk...a big predatory snail. That brown disk is it's operculum...kind of a trap door that seals off the snail when it has completely retracted into the shell.

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A horseshoe crab in love. I'm tugging on his tail, but he is not letting go of the much larger female buried in the sand below. He looks scary, but he's harmless. The tail is simply for righting himself when he gets tumbled by the waves.


Wayne said...

Operculum - that's the third disparate context I've encountered that word.

Isn't that the flap over a fish's gills?

And it's also the cap that covers the capsule of a moss.

Floridacracker said...

In Osteichthyes, it is the boney gill cover. I don't know squat about mosses, but it would fit the general flow... a protective shield theme.

(Obviously I don't know squat about Latin either...I took Francais)

Zanne said...

Wow - fantastic. What a lesson. I agree with you about the loner thing, I rarely take anyone along when exploring/photographing. They find it tremendously boring and talking seems to interrupt the inner conversation drives the creative engine.

Floridacracker said...

If I am seriously targeting birds or something that requires silent stealth or long moments in a blind...I don't invite anyone.

Mostly, I always invite my crew, but I make it clear what we are doing so they know what they are getting into. I'm happy to say that they rarely chicken out unless I say, " Now the bugs are probably going to be pretty ferocious ..."