For day 5 of #30dayswild we headed to Torry Battery in Aberdeen to explore some rock pools.
We lucked out with the weather, it was warm and dry with little breeze making it lovely conditions to do a bit of exploring on the coast.
Armed with a kids fishing net, a Tupperware box and a glass jar we scrambled down the slope onto the shingle beach and hopped over the rocks. There were many rock pools to examine!
To begin with we didn’t see too much, but as we headed further out on the rocks, the closer we got to the sea the more we saw.
Meet the jelly comb, not a jellyfish but rather a ctenophore. A what?! Read more about these interesting creatures on the Britannica website. It was fascinating to watch, as it moved you could see it glowing green thanks to its rows of cilia or “combs” which is uses to move.
These little creatures were fairly quick to scuttle away and hide when they saw us. They’d go from crawling about to hiding in their shells, but with a bit of gentle persistence we managed to catch a couple to have a closer look. They did not like being in the Tupperware box together, so we couldn’t look at them for long before releasing them.
The hermit crab scavenges mollusc shells to find a suitable home, but as they grow larger they soon need to look for a new home. Interestingly I just read that “Hermit crabs kept together may fight or kill a competitor to gain access to the shell they favour.” This explains the Tupperware behaviour!
Unfortunately most of the crabs we found were dead, but then I spotted something small and extremely well camouflaged scuttling about!
Another fellow rockpooler seemed to be having more luck than us on the crab front and gave us a crab he found to look at. This was much bigger, the size of my hand! Both crabs were safely released back into the water. I wasn’t sure what this crab was so I tweeted the Marine Conservation Society for help. They came back to say they were Common Shore Crabs 🦀 ❤️
You definitely need some patience with rockpooling, we also saw some fish too, all quite small but we couldn’t manage to get them in the net they were too fast. Not sure what they were but one was a very small flat fish!
I’m looking forward to exploring some other locations this summer for rockpooling, if you want to give it a try just remember to be safe! Check the tide times and make sure you are gentle with the creatures, treat them with respect and put them back where you found them ❤️