Tuesday, 1 December 2009

More animals

As we walked along the beaches of the Algarve, we encountered several different species of animal. I have already mentioned the birds and today there are some smaller and possibly less attractive animals!
Firstly, some of the creatures to be found stranded in the rock pools along the shore as the tide went out. Limpets are simple gastropods and are to be found all over the world, clinging to the rocks where they eat the algae which grow there.
These were rather handsome as they clustered into any available crevice to await the returning sea. Among the limpets were thousands of barnacles encrusting the rocks. Related to crabs and lobsters, they are filter feeders raking microscopic bits of food from the water as it flows across them.
Another filter feeder, but this time much more mobile and animated as it swam around it's rock pool, is this shrimp.
Almost completely transparent, it was given away by it's dark stripes although, as Malcolm pointed out, not big enough to make a sandwich from! What would you do with him?
Away from the beach and an insect which we found stamping around out apartment block. Large and rather 'tank-like' I later discovered it has the rather catchy name of Pimelia costata. A Darkling Beetle....
Clinging to a wall nearby was this little charmer. A Wall Gecko (Tarentola mauritanica).
Common around the Iberian peninsular, they have a certain charm and look cute sitting on vertical surfaces by means of highly specialised feet pads consisting of hundreds of ridges and scales.
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