Archive for Sand Dollar
You wanted a video? Is that what I heard earlier this week after I posted photos of lots of living sea creatures in the low tidal pools? If so…. I’m delivering! I captured some footage of the awesome SHARKS EYE, STARFISH, SAND DOLLAR, FIGHTING CONCHS, BABYS EAR and an incredible LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL. Wherever in the world you might be, sit back and enjoy the beautiful life on the Sanibel beaches.
It’s thrilling to see a live SAND DOLLAR at low tide half buried in the sand and water, isn’t it?
It’s also thrilling to see bleached out SAND DOLLARS washing in with the tide as well, right?
But how do you know if a SAND DOLLAR is alive or not when it is isn’t bright white?
If a SAND DOLLAR is dark in color and half buried in the sand and/or water, it is most likely still alive and we should let it stay in its place in the water.
There have been times I have posted photos of SAND DOLLARS in my bucket that were grey in color. This has been a concern to folks who were worried about whether or not I collected live SAND DOLLARS. First of all, I would never collect a live SAND DOLLAR. But I completely understand the concerns from anyone who wants to make sure nobody takes a living creature out of its habitat – especially just to take it home for a souvenir.
So here’s the way to tell if it’s alive or not… Look for the CILIA and velvety skin. These are the things that keep the animal alive and on these SAND DOLLARS… they are missing so they are not alive any more. These are now just the TESTS of the animal… like the shell (although its not technically a shell).
Do you see how the edge and surface of this SAND DOLLAR looks like it has fur?
SAND DOLLARS have short SPINES covered in CILIA (tiny hairs) so it can move along the sand and grasses. Along with those “hairs” are TUBE FEET (which look like “fur” to me too – heehee) which is actually how the SAND DOLLAR breathes.
I bet now, you can look at this next photo and see that all of these baby SAND DOLLARS in Clark’s hand are alive. After I snapped this photo, he put them back in the water.
You can see it here too, right? These need to go back into the water where they belong.
So now take a look at this next photo…. is this still alive? No. Even though this SAND DOLLAR is still gray in color, there’s no possible way it could be alive since there are no SPINES nor CILIA nor TUBE FEET. It has no way to breathe or move without those things.
Julianna shows us that the SAND DOLLAR to the left of the photo is still alive and the other one on the right side of the photo has no “fur” whatsoever. She is a good steward of the earth so she put the live one safely back in the water and she gave the other “hairless” one to her mom for safekeeping.
Most days you will see sun bleached SAND DOLLARS just like this…. Hairless! Furless! Completely “Bald”! haha
So next time you see a SAND DOLLAR while walking the beach, remember to leave it alone if it’s dark and hairy but if you are unsure if it’s alive… take your time to inspect this amazing creature before you assume it’s a “keeper”. Look for any signs of hairs, fur or velvety skin.
Now you can bet your bottom DOLLAR you’ll know when to leave those sweet living SAND DOLLARS alone…
and when you can jump for joy when you find that keeper almighty DOLLAR.
PS- Most of these photos are from articles I’ve published in the past, just click on each photo to be linked to those posts.
I always flip flop when I try to decide which I like better… SAND DOLLARS or ANGEL WING shells.
Some of the lucky shellers on our iLoveShelling Shelling Adventure with Sight Sea-R Cruises found both!
They were mixed in with WORM SHELLS and double SUNRAY VENUS shells too.
Loved hanging out with Shannon and Mark from Minnesota. The were happy to find their first ANGEL WINGS…
Lookie at these cutie shellooties Ellen, Paige, Melissa and Gail from Oregon all dressed up in their iLS gear. Love these shelling sisters!
It so much fun to see so many familiar faces like cutie Mary. She was finding lots of perfectly dried HORSESHOE CRABS and WORM SHELLS.
Awwww and Michelle had her FLAT SCALLOP necklace on again to bring back lots of fun memories. She brought her sister Patti this time too so it was so much fun to hear their shelling stories together.
Michelle found a nice ALPHABET CONE to go along with her ANGEL WINGS and other BEACH BLING.
I met another set of sisters Lyn and Lucy from Iowa at my Shellography Photography opening earlier in the week so it was so good to see them again.
Lyn loves the minis too so these were her faves. This was the first time that I’ve seen anybody find a MORTON’S EGG COCKLE (bottom left of the ROSE PETAL TELLIN) on Big Hickory Island. Hmmmmm…. I know what I’ll be looking for next time I’m there!
Gary and Pam (Hi Pam!) found their first ANGEL WINGS too.
Along with Kathy and Bob from Mayaka, Florida…
Who’s cute flip flops were those in the first photo? They were Linda’s! She and Jay from Cape Coral found those SAND DOLLARS, ANGEL WINGS and that big LIGHTNING WHELK in the high tide wrack line.
Since Linda was afraid she was going to break her SAND DOLLAR before she got back on the boat, she saw Sight Sea-R’s Captain Phil combing the beach and checking the water conditions. He offered to “baby sit” her SAND DOLLAR to get it back to the boat in one piece. So nice! I guess he was her Shell Bank- a place to keep her DOLLARS safe.
My friend Robin Draper from Authentic Florida was on our cruise too along with her husband Mike. Woohoo! We might be seeing an article about this shelling adventure soon- if we do, I’ll post it here when she sends a link.
As on every iLoveShelling cruise, each passenger received an awesome $25 gift certificate from my fave jewelry store on Sanibel… Sealife By Congress (inside Congress Jewelers). They are fabshellous to the shelling community!
It was such a fun day meeting so many incredishell shellers and hanging with so many familiar faces. I’m over the MOON SHELL.
Join us on an iLoveShelling Adventure… CLICK HERE