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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"What Is it?" St. George Island Nature Identification

First, the hardest shot:

Next, from farther back, a strange animal appears:

Finally, the easiest (a family of plants not entirely foreign to Great Lakes people):


Anonymous said...

The top two pictures in your post show a jellyfish. It looks like a Compass Jellyfish (Chrysaora hysoscella). It gets its name from the brown lines on its surface that resemble the face of a navigational compass. If your specimen was not lying squashed on its side but had washed up so that it was arranged neatly with the whole round upper surface viewable, then you would be able to see the radiating pattern of lines.
I know of this species from the UK; and it is listed as being common from Biscay to Norway and from the Mediterranean and West Africa. I don't know how common it is in the US - do you think it could be a rare find?

P. J. Grath said...

Jessica, I knew you would know! Yesterday on the beach I kept thinking of you and how you would be able to identify all the various and wondrous gifts from the sea that lay at my feet. Thank you for your help with the jellyfish. Our hosts will be very impressed and glad of the information, too, and perhaps we can find out more today in Apalachicola, at the library or bookstore.

Karen said...


Wish I were there, even tho the weather's been fabulous here, I'd like to smell the salt water & sift through the sand for shells.

P. J. Grath said...

The flower is sea rocket, or sea lavender. The clue is the four-petal arrangement, like mustard, cress, broccoli flowers, etc. Brassica.

I didn't find any cowries but many beautiful other beautiful shells. It was lovely beyond words!