12 Mar 2010

Tiny creature with brilliant color

Take a look inside the shadowy hole. Something strange seems to be there. It's bad luck that my curiosity disturbs its peace,but I cannot let this chance for a better look at this strange color, go by. Luckily it’s stuck on a stone which can be moved. I really don’t like to disturb the creatures I meet and I rarely do, unless it is something really unique and I cannot take a photo otherwise. It is a tiny limpet and it has a color that I have never seen before on a limpet. Its size is not bigger than 3mm and it was very hard to take this picture with a compact camera that I found on a nearby diver’s hand (thank you Hildegard)!!! I asked Spanish collaborator of www.sealifebase.org Victor Simon if he knows which species it is and he thought that it is a Leptea fulva but he cannot be sure. The shape and the color indicate to this but L.fulva it usually lives deep. Limpets are members of the Superfamily Patellacea of the Order Archaeogastropoda which are the first Gastropoda in the evolution (Archaeo is from a greek word which means ancient).

3 Mar 2010

Snail attack!

On the previous post we saw a tiny, lonely Bittium shell balancing over the huge Pina shell!
Very impressive site caught on camera. This picture shows a mass of Bittium shells muching on the seagrass Zostera marina. These masses are more oftenly encountered in the summer months and less likely in the colder months. If you are swimming by quickly it looks like the seaweed is dirty, but look a little closer and you will see so many tiny little shells, of all colors!
It is a pity the photo was not very clear, but it is very hard for me to focus on something so small with seaweed everywhere. By the end of this summer season expect to find a big variety of miniscule shells that live in the Greek waters. I have collected their dead shells all my life, now is the time for the live animals...stay tuned!