Mermaids Purses, the egg cases of the Lesser Spotted Dogfish (Scyliorhinus canicula Linnaeus), complete with egg yolks and embryos, washed ashore with red and green seaweeds at Fall Bay, Gower, South Wales, UK.

Just a pretty picture of a couple of eggs cases attached to colourful red and green seaweed on the beach at Fall Bay on the Gower coast. They are commonly known as Mermaid’s Purses and are most frequently found empty and dried on the strandline. These are fresh specimens with live embryos inside. The bright yellow visible through the shiny translucent cases is the yolk of the egg – probably laid by the Lesser Spotted Dogfish (Scyliorhinus canicula Linnaeus). The curly wurly strings attach the eggs to seaweed and rocks out at sea to provide a secure place for their underwater development – but in this case the seaweed has become detached from its substrate  and washed ashore.

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2011

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