A “red nose” cockle – from Rhossili Bay

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Commonly known as a “red nose”, this living Spiny Cockle Acanthocardia aculeata  (Linnaeus) was stranded on the causeway between the island of Burry Holms and Spaniard Rocks at Rhossili Bay, Gower, UK. It gets its name from its large red muscular foot which can be seen between the gaping shell valves in the picture above.

This specimen was photographed during a mass stranding one winter when thousands of molluscs and starfish were left high and dry by a particularly stormy sea. The red foot of the cockle is used to pull the animal deep down into the sediments where it normally lives. In the picture below the bivalved animal is extending its foot in an attempt to get a grip on the sandy substrate to rebury itself.


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5 Replies to “A “red nose” cockle – from Rhossili Bay”

  1. I thought these pictures were good fun as well as suitable for Red Nose Day. They were truly amazing creatures – moving around. I wish I’d had a video camera with me.


  2. It really has been like a breath of fresh air discovering this blog. For an area as popular and beautiful as the the Gower Peninsula, I have always been suprised at the lack of quality websites which explore the region. It is great to share someones very real passion for their subject matter as well as to learn fascinating new facts. The next time I visit the beach, I will definitely be looking at the things I find there in a new light.


  3. I really appreciate your feedback. It’s good to hear that you will see things on the beach in a new way as a result of looking at my blog. Thank you.


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