The Common Periwinkle, Littorina littorea Linnaeus, is very abundant on the shore at Blacks Harbour where they graze on every hard surface. They crawl over bedrock, boulders, and beach stones – but have a particular liking for the weathered wooden stumps of old pilings that litter the beach. The winkles feed on the microscopic algae by scraping it from objects with a special kind of tongue, called a radula, which has rows of renewable teeth.
It is believed that this gastropod mollusc was accidentally introduced from western Europe in the late 19th century. It is the same species that occurs so frequently on the seashores of the UK and has been discussed in earlier posts.
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