Search sponsored by Coast Marketplace
Home News Local News

Exotic sea creatures found in Seaside

Triple-sail Velella, red-eyed medusa wash ashore
By R.J. Marx

The Daily Astorian

Published on November 21, 2017 11:08AM

Last changed on November 22, 2017 7:47AM

Triple-sail Velella found in Seaside.

Tiffany Boothe/Seaside Aquarium

Triple-sail Velella found in Seaside.

Red-eyed medusa found in Seaside.

Tiffany Boothe/Seaside Aquarium

Red-eyed medusa found in Seaside.

Triple-sail Velella found in Seaside.

Tiffany Boothe/Seaside Aquarium

Triple-sail Velella found in Seaside.


SEASIDE — The Seaside Aquarium made some unusual finds over the past several days, including a triple-sail Velella velella and a red-eyed medusa jellyfish.

Velella velella can create a “blue tide” when beaches are strewn with an aquamarine layer of jelly-like organisms. While associated with spring and summer, if close to shore they can come in anytime the wind blows out of the West, Tiffany Boothe of the Seaside Aquarium said.

“In the fall and winter when the Velella come in, it is usually in smaller quantities and they are usually smaller in size,” she said.

The Velella washing in now are small, some barely larger than a grain of sand, Boothe said.

Their common name — by-the-wind sailor — refers to the clear, triangular sail at the top of the animal’s body which catches the wind and propels it across the surface.

The triple-sail Velella is a Velella with a deformed sail.

“Instead of having just the one sail they essentially have three,” Boothe said. “I found two on Seaside beach with this deformity.”

Red-eyed medusas are a small species of local jellyfish that wash ashore from time to time, she added. The animals are now under the care of the aquarium, and “doing quite well.”

As far as future finds? Keep scanning the beach.

“Fall and winter are one of the best times to beachcomb,” Boothe said. “Large surf combined with west wind brings in a lot of interesting things. Keep an eye out for salps, pyrosomes, bull kelp and various types of jellyfish.”





Marketplace

Share and Discuss

Guidelines

User Comments