On New Year’s Eve a couple of years ago, winter storms had stirred up the seabed offshore, dredging up all the marine invertebrates like Razor Shells, Common Starfish, Brittle Stars, Spiny Cockles, Common Whelks, and much more. These were lifted up by the waves and tossed high on the shore with a lot of debris and empty shells in abundance. Some of the animals struggled to survive and others profited from the feeding opportunity provided by the mass stranding. All were mixed up together – the dead and the quick. Maybe the starfish were just searching for firm substrates but a lot seemed to home-in on the roaming and predatory whelks – attaching themselves firmly to the shells and seeming to hitch a ride on the large gastropods.



All Rights Reserved

8 Replies to “Starfish riding a Common Whelk”

  1. I am also amazed at how you make shells always look so interesting and appealing. You really teach a LOT about how to see the patterns in nature.


  2. Hello, Phil. Thank you for visiting my blog. I have just had a look at your various blogs. What incredible photographs! I am particularly enamoured of the microscopic images. I would just love to be able to do that. I have spent most of my life looking at inverts down a binocular; and at work we did have the facility to take still or video shots down the microscope but I can’t afford the gear for myself. Beautiful images of plants, Phil, and the misty morning in your recent posting was just wonderful. I will definitely visit your sites again.


  3. What a cornucopia of marine life! There’s such a variety of shells. (Look at all those razor clams!) Just the number of star fish is amazing. Thanks for posting these and revealing so much of what was on the beach that day with your photographs.


  4. Although a dramatic event, it is not uncommon. At least on this occasion many of the animals were alive and would have survived. Sometimes everything dies, or the stranding is composed of empty shells only.


  5. I am not remotely amazed at your ability to make shells look so wonderful – they simply are. Your talent is to capture that beauty on camera.


  6. Thank you, Jan. You are always so supportive. I get a real buzz from seeing so many natural wonders right on our doorstep. To know that I have succeeded, at least some of the time, in capturing that moment in photographs is an additional pleasure.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: