I’ve been picking up litter ever since I was little, it’s a hard habit to break. After all these years, I have a good eye for spotting trash and other oddities (things that seem out of place).
During the summer months, it’s fairly common to find curved, plastic-like structures on the beach. I will admit that my first summer here I presumed they were some kind of marine debris. Maybe from a fishing vessel? So, into the trash they went.
Last year, I didn’t pick them up. I still didn’t know what they were but I had a feeling that they were some sort of natural phenomenon. I was curious about them (but obviously not enough to take the time to photograph or research them).
A couple months ago, I was delighted to randomly come across an article that explained these strange shapes were not trash but were, in fact, egg casings created by the Shark Eye Moon Snail (Neverita duplicata). I tucked that important information away and waited for summer.
Last week I found my first egg casings (or sand collars) of the season. Each one contains thousands of eggs carefully secreted by the female snail into a protective, gelatinous structure. After a quick photo shoot, I carefully buried them back in the sand.
It takes them about six weeks to hatch so hopefully next month there will thousands of veligers floating in the water!