Beach Ecology


Examine the grains of sand.
Because the waves are so gentle,
the sand deposited is super fine.
Every grain of sand is different,
like snowflakes are all different.

Rack is the name for the pieces of dead, broken marsh grass that has washed up on shore.  Rack, with the help of the sea oats, holds the dunes in place.

Sandcastle competition between
plain sand and sand layered with rack  in the battle against the ocean waves. 
     

THE RACK WINS!

Sea oats spread roots out about 9 feet in all directions and hold the sand in place.  Photo found on internet.
 


Georgia's Sea Shell is the Knobbed Welk.  Photo found on internet.

The interior of a welk 
can be seen in this
old broken shell.
Adult females will deposit up to 100 fertilized eggs and nurse eggs into each albumin filled egg capsule. The egg capsules are strung together in a long spiral string that is called an egg case or string. The total length of the string can reach over a foot and contain up to 160 capsules. The capsule material is secreated by the female, and molded into its distinctive shape by her foot. The eggs are large (1 to 2 mm in diameter) and contain large amounts of yolk. They develop slowly, hatching in about 3 to 13
months. During development the
embryos pass through larval stages and develop their first true shell with one post nuclear whorl.

 

  These babies were caught in the egg 
sack when all the others escaped into the wild.

Compare the size of these 4 baby welks laying next to a regular straight pin.
.


Soft coral has millions of tiny polyps that live on plankton.
   

Home
Ms. Callie's Kids
Beach Ecology
Maritime  Forest
North End
Marsh
Snakes and Turtles
Fort Frederica National Monument