A different kind of Mermaid’s Purse

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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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4 Replies to “A different kind of Mermaid’s Purse”

  1. Thanks for explaining the difference between the two types Jessica. The ones I’ve found on local beaches are of the dogfish variety. I’m sure every stylish mermaid has at least one of each type 🙂


  2. Here in Dorset, fresh skate’s egg cases have been washing up on the beaches the past week but I haven’t seen any myself. Neither have I been lucky enough to spot and photograph any mermaids – but there must be quite a few of them around if they keep losing their purses. [By the way, in the UK the word purse refers to the small container that holds coins and paper money whereas where you live I believe a purse is what we call a handbag].


  3. Hmmmm I second Amy-Lynn’s thanks for the clarification. Guess that’s a dog fish egg sack that’s hanging in my kitchen window ….


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