Sunday, 4 May 2014

Shellfish Game

Shellfish Game
I was walking along the beach last night and realized just how many shellfish also call Melville home. For those that are not from Nova Scotia or have not had much exposure to shore life, identifying the many shells along the beaches in Melville may be tricky. Here are a few that I found, let's see how well your guesses are!

The picture above is a mussel shell, one of the most common shellfish found in Nova Scotia. The warm waters that surround Nova Scotia from the Gulf stream is responsible for the great numbers of mussels we see in this area of Canada, as the warm temperatures from the equator create an ideal environment for mussels to grow and thrive (Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture).

Now take a look at this picture, if you guessed scallop, unfortunately that is not correct. This is a soft-shell clam shell, but it is often confused with a scallop shell (Wikipedia). I did not find any scallop shells last night. We do see them occasionally on the shores in Melville, but they are contaminated and therefore cannot be eaten. Best to stick to The World Famous Digby Scallops, if you have a craving! 

Finally, an oyster shell. Great guess! This is my favourite type of shell to find in Melville and no, not just because if I am really lucky, I might one day find a pearl inside (How Oysters make Pearls). Although that would be really cool! I like finding oyster shells in Melville, because we had not previously seen them as a regular part of our beach until a few years ago. So each year that they return, it is a sign that the Melville ecology is flourishing! 

Well done guessing and enjoy this beautiful sunny Sunday!

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