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Monday, 3 August 2009

Wed 29th July 2009 - Watershoot Bay.

This week’s venue was beach clearing at Watershoot Bay, where we log all the items found for research and action by the Marine Conservation Trust. It is truly amazing how many bags of rubbish 25 people can fill up in such a short time, and the Rangers’ truck was piled high. The items found are many and varied, including large and small pieces of plastic, rope, nets, polystyrene, abandoned footwear and even a large laundry basket filled with other plastic rubbish. We also found a syringe and a live flare, which the Coastguard had to come and remove before it exploded.

Carrie’s Nature Lesson

Slightly different this week, as while picking up some old plastic I nudged a large cracked rock with my foot and the end fell off to reveal an amazing fossil. The rock was grey chalk, and Trevor from Dinosaur Isle said it was about 100 million years old. The fossil itself was of the genus Pecten, which are Lamellibranch molluscs known variously as scallops and clams. These are remarkable for the beauty of their shells, which are generally brightly coloured and have the surface ornamented with radiating ribs. The two valves of the shell are unequal, usually almost circular, and have the hinge line prolonged into two ears. Bivalves have inhabited the Earth for over 500 million years, and first appeared in the Middle Cambrian about 300 million years before the dinosaurs. Fossil bivalves were formed when the sediment in which they were buried hardened into rock, which it was appears to have happened to the one in the pictures. Many closely resemble living forms, which help to understand how they must have lived.
Many thanks to Carrie & Eddie for the pics and Carrie for the text. Sorry the blog is a bit late this week - the house building and broken wrist are slowing things down a bit.....!

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