A surprizing number of carapaces from molting Dungeness Crabs turned up in the strand line on Taylor Beach this past week. Synchronicity of molting may provide an advantage here are a few speculative ideas:
1. There may be a release of gametes from other invertebrates that would provide a ready food source,
2. It may be to overwhelm predators so that a few crabs survive when they are vulnerable in their soft shell phase , before exoskeleton hardening.
3. Availability of many individuals of a population at once to predators may increase the survivability of those that manage to escape being caught.
4. Its just timing.. they all may have come from the same age egg batch and given constant conditions, have all matured at the same time.
We often come across these empty shells of Tresus capax the Fat Gaper on the shores of Taylor Beach. They live buried in the sand in the shallow water offshore. Around the opening of the siphon, Tresus capax has small palps around each opening which distinguishes it from other bivalves.
Fat Gaper : ( Tresus capax)
Species: Tresus capax (Gould, 1850)
The Fat Gaper, Tresus capax . Note the size in comparison to a glove.
Useful References: E-fauna BC page on bivalve Molluscs:
The false pacific jingle shell, or rock oyster, often comes ashore on Taylor Beach attached to the holdfasts of kelp.
Various species of kelp have attached their holdfasts to this rock oyster shell, leading to it being detached and carried ashore on Taylor Beach.
One of the valves of Pododesmus sp.
Pododesmus (Monia) macroschisma (Deshayes, 1839)
Reference: Peter’s seashells
The remains of an Octopus on Taylor Beach
Not a great picture but the remains of evidence that offshore of Taylor Beach, the giant pacific octopus goes through its life cycle, which is very short.. just a few years.
See the entry on the Race Rocks website for the octopus
Species: dofleini (Hochberg, 1998)
Common Name Giant Pacific Octopus
Laura Verhegge has posted this note about Melibe leonina, seen today in Pedder Bay on the Pearson College Marine Science website
Melibe the hooded nudibranch photo by Laura Verhegge
Melibe leonina photos on Race Rocks Taxonomy by Ryan Murphy
(see other images and a video of the movement on her website)
Ryan Murphy got these images for the Race Rocks Taxonomy.
Species: leonina Gould, 1852
Common Name: Hooded Nudibranch
I had thought that the Mergansers which started showing up on Taylor Beach this past week were Common Merganser females. Now I am not so sure, as most of them lok more like Red-breasted merganser females . Click for enlargement.
Group of female Mergansers off the north end of Taylor Beach
Zoomed in view of mergansers- possibly a mix of mainly red-breasted merganser females and common merganser females..
Flying merganser females
Flying merganser females closer–
Buffleheads in large flocks of up to 100 individuals
Flying Buffleheads go past Double -crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorants with an ocean-going vessel in the background. If all projects for the Pacific North-west go ahead as planned, over 1000 more ships of this size above the high number already using this waterway, will be transiting these waters each year, all carrying bunker and diesel fuel and if Kinder Morgan has its way 350 a year carrying highly toxic dilbit. Click on the oil-spill risk category link below.
See the Census Page on the seabirds showing up in the last few weeks.
Along the shoreline of Metchosin and underwater we have ecosystems which are at risk of being heavily impacted in the event of an impending oil spill catastrophe given all the proposed projects which will increase ship traffic to unacceptable levels in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The presentation by Garry Fletcher linked here was done on the evening of October 23rd, 2014 at the Metchosin Community Hall organized by Karyn Woodland and the local Dogwood Initiative Group. ( NOTE: comments are included under the images and all images are copyright of the photographers who took them, John Harper(GeoBC); the ecoguardians at Race Rocks: Ryan Murphy, Raisa Mirza, Alex Fletcher, Anne Stewart, Adam Harding, Mike Robinson and Courtenay Edwards, and myself. The graphics from the first part on Oil Spill Risk are from posts of Nov.4 on Oil Spill Risks
Link to a description of the three presentations to the Town hall meeting by Kai Nagata of the Dogwood Initiative, Andrew Weaver, Green Party MLA for Oak Bay and Intervenor in the Kinder Morgan hearings, and Garry Fletcher, Intervenor for the Board of Friends of Ecological Reserves in the Kinder-Morgan / Trans Mountain Expansion project hearings.
Tonicella lineata, the lined chiton : These photos taken in May, 2013 were submitted by Gretchen Markle . They were taken on the area known as Laird’s Beach (on Parry Bay south of Taylor Road)
|Species: T. lineata
|Binomial name:Tonicella lineata , Wood, 1815
Cryptolithoides sitchensis, the turtle crab : These photos taken in May, 2013 were submitted by Gretchen Markle . They were taken on the area known as Laird’s Beach (on Parry Bay south of Taylor Road)
Also see another more colourful example of this species found at Christopher Point by a diving student in the Pearson College Marine Science class in October, 2014
Cryptolithoides sitchensis, turtle crab
Species: C. sitchensis
Cryptolithodes sitchensis (Brandt, 1853