Starfish and Shells in the Sand
My dad tells me that when he was a kid, local fishermen used to pay him a penny per starfish that he would toss onto the beach or road so they would dry up and die. The reason? Starfish eat clams and oysters, big money makers for local fishermen at the time.
He says he remembers having the fishermen warning him not to try to kill them by cutting them up or anything like that as the pieces would then grow into individual starfish making more of them…he said he had a few nightmares about mutant starfish during those summers.
Not saying that he was a large factor in the seemingly lack of starfish on the beaches today, but I was surprised when walking on the beach last week we saw them everywhere! I hadn’t seen starfish like that since I was a kid. There were a few storms around the country that week and the wind pushed all sorts of sea creatures and shells up on the sand.
Contrary to the past requests of fishermen, I spent an afternoon walking along a South Carolina beach and tossing the beautiful starfish back into the ocean.
- Did you know?
- Starfish have no brains and no blood. Their nervous system is spread through their arms and their “blood” is actually filtered sea water.
We also saw tons of sea shells – some that I had never seen before! The colors were magnificent and they came in all shapes and sizes.
We even found a large conch shell and a “mermaids purse” – what is actually the egg-case of rays and sharks.
Speaking of sharks, I can’t remember the last time I found a real sharks tooth on the beach – as opposed to buying one in those tacky shops! We actually found three!
Please note – I am not the greatest at identifying sea shells, so I may have a few of these wrongly marked. If you know what they are, I would love to hear from some shell experts!