Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunny Sunday!

Another beautiful day, warm sun and cool breezes, perfect for a paddle. Any excuse is a good excuse to go paddling;) The tide was high, so we were able to paddle in all of the inner coves and got in a much longer paddle, and I am definitely sore, but a good sore.

Bill enjoyed himself and here he is in front of one of the old building at Smith's Castle. It is right down the road from us, but I have never gone there, maybe someday.

I was walking in the water and stumbled upon our old friend, the horseshoe crab. He was swimming around the bottom and a few times tried crawling onto Bill's foot. Here are a few fun facts about the Horseshoe crab.

1. This is a crab that isn't a crab!  It is distantly related to spiders and scorpions.  To avoid confusion, let's call it by its correct name, Limulus polyphemus. (Pronounced Lim-u-lus poly-feem-us)

2. The Limulus is a "living fossil" whose origin dates back to Triassic times, over 200 million years ago, a time when the first dinosaurs and primitive mammals appeared.  Few other well-known animals can claim that record.  It is not easy to be a living fossil.  To apply for this category, that animal can only have, at most, a few close relatives.  The body form should not have changed over the years.  A true living fossil's family tree must be tens, or preferably hundreds, of millions of years old.

3.  Its tail is NOT a weapon.  The animal almost never carries it in an upright position so there is little chance that people might step on the upright tail.   This tail, or telson, serves one real purpose: to assist the animal in turning over should a wave tip it on its back.

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!


marie said...

I remember stepping on them as a child at King's Park in Newport. They would scare me. I wonder if they also live in the NW.

Dorothy said...

Had a look at the info. On Smith's Castle. The garden was supplied for dyes as well as medicines. Can you buy any dyes from your wool from them?

Natalie Santini said...

Love the pics! Following you now. (My kids think that crab-spider thing is so cool.) haha "lim-u-lus......" whatever it's called. ♥

Quilt Hollow said...

Looks like a wonderful day out.

julieQ said...

Glad you had fun...I have never seen such a creature!

A Quilter Awakens said...

Thanks for the horseshoe crab information; you never know when there might be a Jeopardy "question" on the subject. I once toted an empty horseshoe crab shell from coastal Georgia home to Atlanta on the bus. I wish I could have told the curious children riding with me more about it, but they were happy to examine it without the back story.

Rugs and Pugs said...

Thanks for the limulus lesson!
Happy Memorial Day.
Hugs :)

Fiona said...

what an amazing little creature... hope your good kind of sore is gooderer??