A small rockpool at Winspit, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (1) 

Small rock pools are scattered across the rock ledge at Winspit. Some are shallow and others are deep. Some are on the general surface and others are embedded in rock clefts. Most are rounded in outline but a few are differently shaped.  Some of the pools shown here seem almost like the shape of an eye or a mouth.

The colours and patterns made by the various seashore creatures and seaweeds found in and around the rockpools make attractive natural arrangements and designs. The pools and their inhabitants are very decorative features on the seashore even if you do not know what everything is called. 

These are really remarkable rockpools and unlike any that I have seen before. The general surface of the rock in this location is covered with an almost continuous coating of encrusting calcareous algae. This is Lithamnion, usually pink or purplish, but in many areas here it is bleached-out and white. Patches of smooth black encrusting lichen, and microscopic green algae, are interspersed with the Lithamnion to form an irregular  background patchwork of colour.

The purple-tipped, grey-green tentacles of Snakelocks Anemones clustered en masse in some pools. Tufts of filamentous red seaweeds were dotted all over the place and seemed to have a penchant for settling like plumed feathers on the conical shells of living limpets. The arcticulated, calcareous, pink and white branches of Coral Weed created tufts in pools and extensive carpets on the flat rock surfaces.

Yellow Rough Periwinkles grazed the red seaweeds. The unusual green Velvet Horn seaweed was growing in some pools. A few pools had nothing but pebbles swirling round and around at the bottom – preventing any organisms from settling. The red Beadlet Anemones were such a dark colour they looked almost black. Altogether this small area of shoreline with its numerous rockpools is a most unusual-looking place.

Another set of odd-shaped rockpools is described in Cart tracks and square rockpools at Winspit ………and for more details about the weeds and invertebrate seashore creatures mentioned above, you can use the SEARCH BOX on the top right-hand side of the blog’s home page, or the INDEX OF CATEGORIES, to locateother postings on the subjects.

Almond or eye-shaped small rockpool at Winspit, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (2) 

Small round rockpool with nothing but pebbles at Winspit, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (3)

Small shallow rockpool with yellow periwinkles grazing on red seaweed at Winspit, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (4) 

Small mouth-shaped rockpool at Winspit, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (5) 

Small round rockpool at Winspit, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (6) 

Small round rockpool at Winspit, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (7) 

Revision of a post first published 8 December 2009

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2011

All Rights Reserved

 

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