Marine equivalent of a walking stick

Kayaking today in Birch Bay, off the Strait og Georgia, I saw a crab buoy. Now, crab season doesn’t start for another month. And it had some growth on it. I decided to pull it up to see if there was indeed a crab pot on the end. The large amount of seaweed covering the line indeed indicated that the pot had been lost or abandoned some time ago. (And there were to juvenile dungeness crabs in the pot, but that’s not important to the question.)

After dropping the pot I started paddling to shore. I noticed what looked like the very small holdfasts or another part of seaweed sloshing around in the floor of the 'yak. I also saw a dungeness crab larva swimming about, and a dungeness crab about the size of my thumbnail. I caught the last and sent it overboard. The larva? I dunno. Maybe it was washed out the scupper. I saw that one of the inch-long seaweed-looking things seemed to have taken root. So quickly? Hm…

I picked it up and it was chitinous. That too, weht overboard. Then I saw that there were many of these things. They looked like some sort of little shrimp, only they bore a strong resemblance to the walking stick insect. Given the circumstances and their appearance, it seems obvious that it lives on the seaweed.

I assume it was some kind of a shrimp. Does anyone know what it might have been?

Another sea creature question: As I walked across the broad mud flat to the shore, I saw what looked sort of like the outline of a sand dollar. Only it was gelatinous and clear. I assume it was some sort of jelly. I poked at it and it didn’t move. I haven’t had any problem with the small jellies in these waters (of course the only exposed skin I’ve had is between my mask and regulator, so…) so I picket it up. No tentacles. All of the jellies I’ve seen while diving had had tentacles. But it had to be some sort of Cnidarian, right? This thing was about two inches in diameter and about as thick as my watch. Lying in the mud it looked as if it had a circular depression in the middle about half an inch across. Since it didn’t have tentacles or anything that might resemble gastrovascular organ structures, I thought for a moment that it might be some sort of silicone component of a boat. Only I can’t imagine what. For all I know though, it may have been inorganic. But going on the assumption that it was a Cnidarian, what kind was it?

Any marine biologists in the house?

Oh, sorry, I came in to read about what soldiers use on hikes. :smack:

I was expecting some sort of weird underwater walking aid for the disabled consisting of a stick with some balloons glued on.

Hi Johhny,
could it have been a skeleton shrimp ?

As for your gelatinous thingy, try the Jellyzone , poke around in here for a while and see if you find something that looked like what you saw.


I envy your marine access. I get to kayak lakes, streams, rivers, swamps, but no salt water.

Oh, and I also came to see what the USMC issues to its members for use on hikes.:wink:

Sorry I can’t find a link for you right now - I’m on my Treo. See if you can Google a critter called a caprellid amphipod. It sounds like that might be what you saw.

If that’s not it, can you let us know what size the critter was?

Didn’t think of this at first, but the hyperiidean amphipods could also be thought of as looking like walking stick insects. But they like to hook onto gelatinous material more than seaweeds.

For the second thing you found on the beach, ctenophores (comb jellies) are often mistaken for cnidarians, and while they still have tentacles (except for one class), they’re fewer in number and smaller than your standard sea jelly tentacles. Cnidarians and ctenophores both have difficulty surviving the process of washing up on the beach intact, tho.

That’s it! :slight_smile: One of these days I’d like to catalogue the various creatures in the area.

The house is like 450 feet or so from the beach. :smiley:

Sadly, I have to earn a living so the house is 1,200 miles away from me right now. :frowning:

Can anyone identify this snail? There are millions of them on the mud flat.

Could it be somekind of mudsnail ?

Also of interest is this link .

Kotick (this time I managed to spell my usename correctly too :slight_smile: )

If you follow that linky to the project on mudsnails, there is talk about two possible species. The one I linked to first, called Cerithidea, might not be the one in your photo. I think we also should look at the other one also, Battilaria, which is an invader. The silvery bands are more prominent as in the one shown in your photo, but I can’t find a good shot of it in the web… maybe you can try this one, its not from a scientific site, but I have nothing better to offer right now.


Looks like a species of Turritella.

Here is a QuickTime movie of one of the shrimp.