Tregear Cottage's picture


Observed: 8th January 2011 By: Tregear Cottage

Lots of these shells were washed up on Carne Beach near Nare Head, The Roseland, Cornwall.They measure 5" x 3" approx...We wondered why? What has happened to these creatures to provoke so many dying and being washed up this time of the year? Note: we have not observed these shells in such numbers previously..

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Tregear Cottage's picture

Large Mussel

We would like to invite anyone who is an expert in this field to explain what happened to these creatures to cause so many to die and then be washed up onto the shore in such numbers this time of the year? Are they edible? Are they indigenous? Any information would be welcome to further expand our local knowledge ...thank you!

Syrphus's picture

They are native, and quite

They are native, and quite common. Weather and sea conditions might be the likely explanation for the dead shells being beached in numbers.

You should edit the post so that it is in invertebrates rather than fish - they are bivalve molluscs despite the name 'shellfish'.



recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on

rimo's picture

Unusually cold water causing

Unusually cold water causing thermal stress/shock seems to be the current favourite explanation for the various marine kills over the last couple of weeks - these may well have succumbed to the same thing

Record your ladybird sightings!

BeckyH's picture

What day were they washed up?

What day were they washed up?

Mike Kendall's picture

How recent is this kill ?

These shells look a bit old for a recent kill even though otter shells live quite deep in the sediment and may have some sulphide stainiing.

If there were large numbers washed up did any contain flesh? Where there any signs of the substantial siphons which might not have decomposed very easily (particularly in cold weather)?

Mike Kendall