eggs

There are a few types of eggs or egg masses that are easy to recognize on the beach. Considering how many marine animals actually lay eggs, it is a bit surprising how few we see regularly!

 

The egg mass produced by a couple of species of the moon snail (Polinices conicus and P sordidus) is often mistaken for a jellyfish. That’s because you can barely see the miniscule eggs, but they are held in a transparent, firm, sausage-shaped jelly matrix. They start to appear on the beach in spring.

The moon snail (Polinices sp) lays eggs in a jelly-like matrix.

 

Eggs mass of the moon snail – not a jellyfish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Squid eggs are also easy to recognize because they are soft, whitish and clumped together in a bunch.

A clump of squid eggs. There can be four or five eggs in each of the ‘fingers’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A slightly mangled Port Jackson Shark egg.

The most common shark egg cases we find locally are those of either the Port Jackson sharks or skates. They are dark brown, rubbery and shiny when fresh, but when hatched or dry become hard brittle. The Port Jackson shark egg case is spiral shaped, tapering from the base to the tip. Skate egg cases are shaped like small pillows, with tendrils on each corner.

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