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Amongst algae pulled up by the waves after the winter storms, we can find the remains of life such as different shells and carapaces, also empty capsules of dogfish eggs called in French "Bourse de sirène" (Siren's purse) or ray eggs called "Bourse du diable" (devil's purse). Shells of cuttlefish are very common. On one of these 'bones, I have added a long and thin rostrum just for esthetic. This mollusc which approaches the coast in spring, lives only for two years and generally dies after reproduction.

This drawing is inspired by walking on a long sandy shore near Lampaul-Ploudamézeau (North Finistère) (seeing this nice granite bell tower). There we can find another kind of building: a blockhaus.
This is the domain of a small crustacean: the sand hopper. This amphipod digs a burrow in the sand and leaves this during the night in thousands for crushing and eating rotten algae and bacteria which live on algae. At very high tide the water makes it jump over the sand. the sand hopper doesn't like too much water, only moist sand; It can drown! It’s a real spectacle to see them jumping on the sand when it’s full moon. The function of this small animal is very important in the ecosystem of the high sandshore because it contributes with bacteria to the mineralization of the organic matter. In fact, mineral salt produced this way is used by pioneer species of plants to fix and stabilize sand dunes.

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image © Michel Salaün 2004

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Published in December 2004 Micscape Magazine.

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