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.

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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.

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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

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

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Common Piddock close up showing rough shell for boring into rock

Meantime:

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.

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5 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!

    • 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?

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