Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Misguided Naturalist's Guide to Nature

Spotted in a tree in Clyne Gardens. 
There was some debate over whether they were beavers (teeth) but we finally agreed that they were rats.

And this isn't lugworm sperm. 

You see there is at this very moment being conducted on the shores of Britain a survey into lugworm sperm. The British public has, I hope, done its duty and taken part. I would have - if I'd known about it in time - and if I'd known what lugworm sperm looks like. (Seagull poo if you're interested.)

Lugworm, as any fisherman will tell you, play a vital role in the marine environment but, sadly, as they spend all their time underground they never get to meet the lady/man lugworm of their dreams. (Although judging by the number of worm casts on the beach at low tide I would have thought it would have been impossible to turn around underground without bumping into one. In fact it's a wonder the whole beach doesn't sink a foot a day so undermined must its foundations be.)

Anyway, I digress. It seems that once a year all the man lugworms produce sperm that forms into little milky puddles on the surface before it's distributed by the sea water, soaking into the ground whereupon, it is hoped, it comes across a welcoming female. But nobody knows what it is that triggers the mass ejaculation. Hence the survey.

Are you believing any of this? I wouldn't. But it's true. If you'd like to find out more pop along to the rather wonderfully titled Spermwatch website.

P.S. And I might be too late but I will look again next time I'm on the bay for the real thing and will photograph it for you obviously. because I know you are so gripped by this tale.

P.P.S. I bet David Attenborough never has this trouble.


SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Now I know that lugworm are the new 'in' crowd , I will google them quickly . Mustn't be out of the loop ...

Rose said...

Glad to see you are back, Liz! And I'm happy to finally know what lugworm sperm is after seeing it on Facebook; apparently Americans aren't quite so concerned about it, because it hasn't been in the news here. Although the news reports may have been talking about it, and I just assumed they were talking about Trump:)

Liz Hinds said...

You must, sonata! Although it's a bit late now. The scientists will probably have moved on red banana viruses next.

An easy mistake, rose.