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Author Topic: What are the jelly globules washed up regularly on the beach?  (Read 8217 times)

alansm

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Every winter thousands of jelly globules are washed up on the beach opposite my house and I have no idea what they are.



Location: Seton Sands, East Lothian, Scotland. Gentle sandy beach in the Firth of Forth - open salt water estuary.
Description: 30mm to 50mm rubbery gelatinous mass. Mostly free individuals but sometimes clustered or attached to kelp roots or old shells. They are quite robust, translucent, clear in colour and fluid filled. They squelch fishy smelling liquid when stood on. There is no obvious embryo inside, although I'm convinced that they are egg cases of some seabed dwelling creature. Possible lug worm (Arenicola marina) or Razor-shell (Ensis ensis)?
However any photo referenced I've seen do look quite different.

Does anyone have any idea what these are?

Can anyone tell me how to upload images and I'm new to this site & don't have a clue?
« Last Edit: 03/02/2009 18:22:32 by chris »

Chemistry4me

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Can anyone tell me how to upload images and I'm new to this site & don't have a clue?
Click "additional options"
Click browse and search for your photo, once you are done, click "upload", if you want to insert the photo into the post there is a tab "insert into message" or something like that.

dentstudent

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Is it possible to clean one up, so that we can see the whole thing better?

alansm

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Jelly Globule Dissection

Freshly picked jelly Globules at 10.00am on Friday 16th January 2009

Many of the globules are attached to kelp roots. One also had a worm tubule next to it.




Upon inserting the knife clear fishy smelling liquid is released. (Scale is Imperial Inches)




There is a creature inside, which I have unfortunately sliced in two.




What on earth have I killed?? :-'(
« Last Edit: 16/01/2009 10:33:28 by alansm »

alansm

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Mystery Solved!  ;D

The jelly globules are 'Sea Squirts' or Ascidia. Probably Ascidia mentula.

My thanks to David Connor,Head of Marine Habitats Team at the Joint Nature Conservation Committee.

He advises that Sea-squirts (ascidians) are notoriously difficult to identify, so it would need closer examination to confirm the species.

Don_1

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Well done, that man.

 

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