Flotsum Eggs

David Fenwick

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#1
I recently found something what I thought was algae but what turns out to be eggs. I was wondering if these are from a cephlapod and if so which one. They were found on an old fishbox which had washed up on a beach and had drifted across the Atlantic to the UK; the box had Gooseneck Barnacles on it.

Please get in touch if you can suggest what the eggs might be, they are about 12mm in size.

Many thanks and Merry Christmas..
Dave
 

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DWhatley

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#5
Unfortuntely, I can't be of any help but did want to welcome you. They don't look like anything I have seen but my egg experience is VERY limited. There are not squid eggs (which would be long packets and not individual eggs, nor any of the octopus eggs I have observed (tear drop in shape and clustered) but the shape is somewhat cuttlefish like. The outer covering, however, does not look thin enough (it appears almost leathery?) for cuttle eggs I have seen in members photos (but we only see a very limited number of species). If they are dead, than likely not as the eggs would have opened and flattened. The raised "eye" would not be typical.
 

David Fenwick

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#6
Thank you for your welcome. The outer covering is actually quite thin and very much like the thickness of a cuttlefish, similar to european ones I've found on the beach; I would think they are dead as I'm expecting the box has been washed from much warmer waters, Lepas anatifera, the Common Gooseneck or Stalked Barnacle was also on the box, as was Prickly Saddle Oyster. We do get the backbones of Sepia elegans washed up on our coast so this is something I probably have to exclude. It'll be interesting to see what people think of the image which may be a spermatophore. I'm trying to find out what they are as I've a website www.aphotomarine.com and I place all my marine images on the site for educational purposes, I also want to try and find out so that I can record the species as I do quite a bit of marine recording.
 

David Fenwick

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#8
Cuttlegirl I'm afraid I didn't and here I must admit I'm a bit red in the face over this; I thought the objects were a species of brown algae that I'd later be able to identify using images because of how distinct they are. The fact they were eggs never entered my mind. If the weather is OK tomorrow I'm off to find the box again; I'll try and collect samples if I can and will freeze them or put them in alcohol till after Christmas.
 

DWhatley

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#10
I would not expect a sponge to have a delicate membrane or those "eyes" (but I have only seen about 5 species of sponge and only one round - which does make the raised thread like attachments as it attached to substrait) are not on any kind of sponge I have seen in pictures or in the tank. I think that an animal vs eggs might be a better directions though as I would expect eggs to have rotted or at least fully deflated.
 

David Fenwick

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#11
Two quite well known people from the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth have agreed that they are possibly eggs; one of them is an expert in alien squirts and sponges. In case the images are of an algae, images have been send to a professor at the Natural History Museum in London; however Mike Guiry of Algalbase has seen them and has alread said he doubts they're an algae. I've put the images on the site here because having told they are likely to be an egg; and having looked at numerous marine egg images; the morphology of the objects would seem close to a cephalopod eg. holdfast, stalk and egg. It might be that the objects were longer or of a slightly different shape as the fishbox was found out of water and therefore subject to dessication.
 

David Fenwick

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#12
I refound the animal earlier today and I have just rehydrated the material. The spherical bodies contain an unsegmented worm like animal, so it is not a cuttle or cephalopod. Many thanks to those who helped with this. At least I can now focus on unsegmented worm like creatures. Merry Christmas to all. Dave
 

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