Fascinating Facts and Seaside Spots. Eva Phillips, Comms Officer

Credit: Eva Phillips/WTBBC

Wow your kids and friends when you're rockpooling and beachcombing this summer with our fantastic facts!
Crab

Credit: Eva Phillips/@WTBBC

1. Clams can live for more than 400 years

2. A lobster's bladder is in its head, they hear with their legs and their brains are in their throat

3. Sea anemones eat and dispose of waste through the same opening…

4. Sea anemones use their tentacles to shoot toxic injecting filaments into prey. The prey is paralysed so the tentacles can guide it into the sea anemone's waiting mouth.

5. Seals produce milk with 50% fat. Their babies gain 3-5 pounds daily – that’s the same as a 2l bottle of pop!

6. Jellyfish vary in size greatly. Some species are as small as a pinhead, while some can be 8ft in diameter!

7. Jellyfish are one of the oldest organisms on the planet, even older than dinosaurs! They’re thought to be between 500 and 700 million years old.

8. Crabs have eyes on the stalks, just like snails. They can distinguish colours but a lot less details than human eyes.

9. Crabs breathe with the help of gills. That is why they need to stay close to the water even if they live mainly on the land.

10. Crabs communicate via sound. They produce drumming and flapping sounds by using their claws and pincers.

11. Average lifespan of crabs is between 3 and 4 years.

Seahorse

12. Seahorses hold a Guinness World Record as the slowest swimmers in the ocean. Dwarf seahorses swim 5 feet per hour – that’s 0.00094697mph

13. Seahorses interact with each other by producing clicking sounds.

14. Red sea urchins have the longest lifespan on Earth. It can survive up to 200 years in the wild.

15. Porpoises can swim at the speed of 34 miles per hour.

16. Porpoises live in groups (called pods) that consist of 2 to 20 members (usually just 4).

17. Porpoise pregnancy lasts 10 to 11 months and ends with one baby and young porpoises stays with their mother for several years

18. Mackerel swim in large schools that can stretch up to 20 miles in length.

19. Mackerel can swim at the speed of 5.5 meters per second – 12mph!

20. Mackerel can survive up to 25 years in the wild.

Seagulls swarming deckchairs on beach

21. Seagulls are one of the rare animals that are able to drink salt water. They have special glands (located above the eyes) which eliminate excess salt from the body.

22. Seagulls eat insects, earthworms, small rodents, reptiles and amphibians alongside seeds, fruit and my sausage roll whenever I try to eat one on the beach.

23. Eagles are the main predators of seagulls

24. Barnacles don’t have hearts or gills, they breathe through the body wall and via feathery appendages called cirri.

25. Barnacles only swim for a short time after hatching and spends the rest of their life attached to hard surfaces like rocks, boats or the shells of other animals.

26. Cuttlefish can quickly change colour, texture and pattern of skin thanks to millions of pigment cells, connected with muscles in the skin.

27. Cuttlefish can use jet propulsion by ejecting huge amounts of water from their mantle. It is usually accompanied by a release of ink allowing it to get away from predators.

28. Cuttlefish are one of the most intelligent marine invertebrates having a very large brain. They also have green-blue blood (due to pigment called haemocyanin which contains copper) and three hearts.

29. Despite its name, hermit crabs are not solitary creatures. They live in large colonies of 100 or more animals.

30. Hermit crabs often exchange and occasionally fight with other hermit crabs to conquer better shells.

31. Oysters have a three-chamber heart and colourless blood, they breathe via gills and excrete waste via kidneys.

32. All oysters can be divided in four main groups: true oysters (that are part of human diet), pearl oysters (those that produce pearl), thorny oysters (those with thorny shells) and saddle oysters (those with very thin shells).

33. Cormorants tend to build nests in colonies and the amount of bird poop they drop can sometimes be so much that trees below are killed or seriously damaged.

34. Cormorants can dive as deep as 45 meters