Seatown Mud Tracks & Trails

The soft smooth almost liquid muds that flow down the cliffs at Seatown after rain, pool and sink into the shingle on the beach. It doesn’t take long to see amazing networks of tracks and trails on the mud surface. These are made by a myriad of small invertebrate seashore creatures like worms, snails, and sandhoppers as they walk across, burrow, and tunnel into it, foraging for food and seeking shelter from exposure. The number of distinct track marks is amazing and I have no idea which mark was made by which animal (that is a whole new project requiring the collection of some mud samples for identification of the occupants of this habitat). Large bird footprints from crows and gulls show that these areas are also good places for them to feed on the creatures in the mud.

Images can be seen in greater detail by clicking on any photograph to view in the gallery, and then clicking “View full size” below the picture.

Natural Patterns on Rhossili Beach – Part 5

Marks made in wet sand by very small Brittle Stars emerging from shallow burial in the sediments as the tide retreated down the shore at the southern end of Rhossili Beach. Much larger brittle stars have been known to wash ashore and become stranded at Burry Holms at the north end of the beach.

(See the earlier post https://natureinfocus.wordpress.com/2010/04/14/brittle-stars-at-burry-holms/ ).

Marks made by emerging brittle stars in wet sand

Marks made by emerging brittle stars in wet sand

Marks made by emerging brittle stars in wet sand

Marks made by emerging brittle stars in wet sand

Marks made by emerging brittle stars in wet sand

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