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Rare sea creature and slimy surprise found in Cornwall

30/07/2011 15:23:33
whales/marine_2009/Violet_sea_snail_Trewhella

Violet sea snail, photo by Steve Trewhella

Violet sea snail spotted near Polzeath

July 201. A rare and beautiful sea snail has been found by a Cornwall Wildlife Trust volunteer in Polzeath, North Cornwall. This is the first sighting of such an unusual creature in over 3 years, according to the Environmental Records Centre of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Violet sea snail
A violet sea snail, which gets its name from its vivid colour, is an oceanic drifter with a mucus bubble raft which supports them on the ocean surface. They travel with their prey in tropical and semi tropical ocean drifts therefore arriving in Cornish waters must be quite a shock! Once in a while they wash up in this part of the world, often with other exciting drifters such as goose barnacles and the infamous Portuguese Man-of -War jellyfish.

Abby Crosby, Marine Conservation Officer for Cornwall Wildlife Trust says "Finds like this rare sea snail are exciting and incredibly interesting to marine biologists as they inform us about the processes occurring in the ocean. What is also fantastic is that our volunteer Steve Hearnshaw, who has been supporting the Trust and helping with marine events and activities around Polzeath through our ‘Your Shore' project, has learnt so much through his volunteering that he has the knowledge to spot these exciting things!'

Cornwall Wildlife Trust is the county's leading wildlife conservation charity and has 14,000 members and over 85 Business Members. The Trust supports the Polzeath Voluntary Marine Conservation Area and its Marine Centre through the Your Shore Project.

If you would like to volunteer like Steve please www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/yourshore or contact Your Shore Project Officer Abby Crosby on abby.crosby@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk and find out more.

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