The Piddocks and The Dirty Dirty Dog

In the wake of Doris, a trip to the sea shore seems a sensible idea . The sea is pretty lively and the wind is blustery.

Down on the beach, at low tide, the rocks look like they’re made of plasticine. Pristine and perfectly smooth.

They are a shade of grey that a paint company would no doubt call Shrew’s Fur; and they have fine red and yellow lines woven through them like threads. The rocks make a striking contrast to the coarse sand.




Further down, on the lower shore, flat pebbles lie in the water with perfectly round holes in them. Very striking. These holes are made by boring molluscs called piddocks. These animals rotate their rough shells to drill holes in rocks which they then live in.

img_3066          img_3069

There is a well worn saying in marine biology circles “there’s nothing boring about a mollusc that can drill through solid stone”.

The shells are surprisingly fragile, and you don’t often find them whole


Shells of Pholas dactylus (Common Piddock) from a private collection


Common Piddock close up showing rough shell for boring into rock


In the meantime, and oblivious to all this stuff, the enthusiastic young dog accompanying the Coleshed outing, had found some nasty, smelly, rotting seaweed. Which almost certainly contained dead things.

Said doggo then rolled very enthusiastically in it! OMG ! Really? Did you have to?

The dirty, dirty dog.

*No photos / far too smelly to even get close. Just Saying.


7 thoughts on “The Piddocks and The Dirty Dirty Dog

  1. My mum would always look for pebbles with holes in. It’s now a tradition in our family. We have a collection. I never knew about these though. Fascinating and amazing!

    1. Pebbles with holes in is kind of different.. at Coleshed Towers we thread these onto fibreglass rods and stand them in the ground like sculptural pebble towers :)
      What did your Ma do with them? In the garden?

  2. I have not heard about the mollusk that drills into rock! I know some snails drill into other shells to eat what’s inside, but your snails are superior! Your beach is so interesting with all the rocks and pebbles. The first photo is especially stunning.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s