Sunday, January 25, 2009

Florida Whelks and Hermit Crabs

I never get tired of going to the beach. Every season is different. We went to Fort DeSoto Park's North Beach today and found a lot of large mollusks and hermit crabs. I usually don't see these larger specimens so close to shore during warm weather months.

(Click on photos for larger images.)

Here's a large whelk out for a stroll near the shore. The water was too cold for me to want to walk in. A lady vacationing from the state of Washington waded into the water to get it.

It took the whelk a few minutes to totally retract into its shell. Cold blooded animals move slower when they're cold. We all took pictures and then put it back in the water.

We found a lot of large hermit crabs near the shore. This one has a horse conch shell for a home.

Here's one at home in a whelk shell. This is the biggest hermit crab I've ever seen. It looked like a small lobster.

We stayed to watch the sunset and then went home.

More Photos of Fort DeSoto Park in Winter

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