Well, there you go. You learn something every day – and in fact one day was all it took to get a response from the Museum Victoria’s Discovery Centre. How impressive is that?
So this (from a mere two posts ago)
is a sand collar.
Sand collars are a gelatinous egg mass which has been deposited by a sea snail belonging to the family ‘Naticidae’
They also sent me a pdf attachment, but in the interests of being able to link, now that I know what I’m looking for, I’ve been able to google away merrily.
These egg masses often wash up on sandy beaches, either whole or sometimes in fragments. When they are whole, sand collars are shaped like an old-fashioned detachable shirt or blouse collar (hence the name). They consist of sand grains cemented together by a gelatinous matrix, with embedded eggs.
A fresh sand collar feels stiff and yet flexible, as if it were made out of plastic. Each sand collar contains thousands of capsules, each one housing one or several live embryos. In species with planktonic development, these embryos hatch out as bilobed veligers. After the eggs hatch, the sand collar disintegrates.
If you google image search ‘sand collar’, you’ll get more info than you can poke a stick at!
Obviously I was holding a lot more than I bargained for in my hand!
And so… what to do with the prize I offered… ?
Noone actually got the answer as such, however Jayne, whose “Feral Beast” nearly had it.. and Jen who also suggested shark egg cases,both set me off on a non-seaweed research track. So, Girls! I can offer each of you a 6 x 8 inch print of any of my photos that you choose, or a full resolution digital copy of a photo of your choice (resized to whatever dimension you prefer) that you can use for your wallpaper. Email me (see my About page) and we’ll sort it out.
Thanks for being part of my very first competition!