A diary with a difference…..

Our Reef

First:  I have to apologise for the previous blog – not one single mention of our wonderful Welsh name, Ynys Echni.

Whatever you call us, Flat Holm, Ynys Echni, or Bradan Relice, we do still have a few little secrets.  One of those is only really visible at low tide.  Today we had a low tide, a really low tide!

A small polychaete  worm, known as Sabellaria alveolata. It is one of two species of Sabellaria worm that are present in the UK.  The second is known as Sabellaria spinulosa….or the Ross worm.  Now, maybe i’m being a little childish, but Ross (our wonderful education warden), already has a gull named after him, and now a rare polychaete worm.  I feel a little left out!  Anyhow, our worm, Sabellaria alveolata fortunately has a common name; the honeycomb worm.  It builds ‘biogenic reef’s’ , that is a reef built from small particles by a living organism.  Basically, this little worm builds a little tubular house for itself out of sand, bits of old shell, anything it can find really – have a look at some of the photos below…  Worms die off, new worms stand on their shoulders and build new homes….

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2 responses

  1. Carole Sharp

    A favour please? Next time the Flat Holm Society have a Long Day will you show us where the reef is, pretty please!! If anyone reading this is not a Society member and wants to see the reef too, why not join the Society and have a look with us?

    Don’t be envious of Ross who also has a town named after him (Ross on Wye). Sam has Sam-phire (but not Samon or Samonella) Sorry Sam, couldn’t resist it!. Matt has me stumped, as usual!
    Cheers
    Carole

    January 23, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    • If we have a tide low enough of course i can – you can see a few honeycomb worms on a 1 metre tide but the lower the better. Yesterday was about 60cm. We’d have to arrange the long day around the low tide although i’m sure this wouldn’t be too much of a problem.

      Sam

      January 24, 2011 at 8:18 am

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