Dog whelks & their eggs on Burry Holms

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A Post from the Past [2009]

Multi-coloured and variously patterned living dog whelks congregating in a rock crevice at Burry Holms on Rhossili Bay, Gower, UK. These gastropod molluscs are predatory carnivores feeding on barnacles and young mussels. They attack their prey by drilling a hole in the shells using the toothed tongue-like radula until they can get to the soft parts of the animals. They then dissolve the flesh and eat it.

At this time of year, large patches of the eggs can frequently be found. Often the egg capsules are creamy or yellow coloured but in this instance they are a pink-purple colour. Sometimes the eggs are deposited on the top of other sedentary or slowly moving animals; I noticed limpets with eggs decorating their shells. The photograph below shows the eggs of the dog whelks cemented to the rocks overhanging a small rock pool.

Eggs of dog whelks on rock

© Jessica Winder and Jessica’s Nature Blog, 2009

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