Millions of tiny juvenile cockle shells have been washed ashore at Swansea Bay in August this year (2018). At least, that is what I think they are. I may be wrong because I have never seen such small cockle shells before. Most were under 1 centimetre in length, many less than 5 mm. It may be a common occurrence since most young invertebrates do not survive from each generation. Also, lots of them were coloured or had intricate zig-zag patterns which I have never observed before. Perhaps they are something else?

Tiny cockles en masse washing ashore
Tiny Cockles Context Shot – Mostly tiny cockle shells washed up on the strandline en masse with seafoam at Swansea Bay August 2018
Tiny cockle shells on a scale bar
Tiny Cockles 13 – Tiny juvenile cockle shells (Cerastoderma edule?) from the beach at Swansea Bay in South Wales on a scale bar to show size.


4 Replies to “Tiny Cockle Shells”

  1. Thank you, Jo. I believe that young cockles can have differently coloured shells and markings on them but I have never noticed it before. The original small shell would be incorporated into the adult shell at the hinge end. I have not seen these markings surviving on adult shells either. It crossed my mind that maybe these were not C. edule but something else.

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