Mermaid’s Purses become dry, black and brittle when they dry out on the beach. So they look very different from the fresh ones which are olive brown colour and translucent. The egg and embryo can often be seen within the egg case when it is fresh.
These photographs show the dessicated, black egg case of a Skate or Ray. These are different from the fresh Dogfish egg cases illustrated in the previous posts, Mermaid’s Purses at Fall Bay and Some more Mermaid’s Purses from Gower. Dog fish egg cases are a more elongated rectangle with curling tendrils on each corner that are used to attach the cases to seaweed or other objects. The Skate egg case, in comparison, is squarer in outline and has stiff curving spikes on each corner.
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