Saturday, March 16, 2013

Moon Snail Encounters on Sunset Beach

A Moon Snail Shell
While enjoying a last walk along the beach before heading back home to the mountainous side of North Carolina, we kept noticing a recurring strange pattern on the sand.  It reminded me of ancient fossils  we've seen in museums.  Our daughter, ever curious, and energetic enough to bend over and investigate more closely, discovered each of these marks were caused by the displacement of the damp sand from movements below, specifically from the slow progress of a Moon Snail digging along its way a couple of inches below the surface of the beach.  She dug up each one and flipped them over to see its round, flat "foot" retreating back up into its shell.  When she put each one down and waited, it started digging itself back down under the sand again.  Neat!

Take the kids and learn more about Moon Snails and other beach-dwelling critters at the Museum of Coastal Carolina in nearby Ocean Isle.

Mysterious pattern in the sand
made by the subterranean hi-jinks of
a Moon Snail.
Emily and one temporarily inconvenienced Moon Snail