page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52
page 53
page 54
page 55
page 56
page 57
page 58
page 59
page 60
page 61
page 62
page 63
page 64
page 65
page 66
page 67
page 68
page 69
page 70
page 71
page 72
page 73
page 74
page 75
page 76
page 77
page 78
page 79
page 80
page 81
page 82
page 83
page 84
page 85
page 86
page 87
page 88
page 89
page 90
page 91
page 92
page 93
page 94
page 95
page 96
page 97
page 98
page 99
page 100
page 101
page 102
page 103
page 104
page 105
page 106
page 107
page 108
page 109
page 110
page 111
page 112
page 113
page 114
page 115
page 116
page 117
page 118
page 119
page 120
page 121
page 122
page 123
page 124
page 125
page 126
page 127
page 128
page 129
page 130
page 131
page 132
page 133
page 134
page 135
page 136
page 137
page 138
page 139
page 140
page 141
page 142
page 143
page 144
page 145
page 146

will be around until September. When they hatch their two mandibles are of equal length but by fl edgling, 4 weeks later, the lower mandible is already 1cm longer than the upper.Least terns (a threatened species) arrive on Marco in late April to breed and will have probably left again with new fl edglings by mid September. Their young can also fl y at four weeks of age. The least tern hovers until spotting prey and then plunges into the water without full submersion, to extract dinner. The lettered Olive shell has a strong foot that allows it to burrow easily through sand. They prey on coquina clams in the surf zone and scavenge when the opportunity arises.Horseshoe crabs are not in fact crustaceans but more closely related to spiders than crabs. Their molts are perfect replicas of the growing animal. Females take a decade to mature and live 20-40 years. The species is valuable in both pharmaceutical and bio-medical research.Atlantic giant cockles are over 5" in length and a strong muscular foot allows them to burrow into sand where they extend syphons above them into the water to fi lter for plankton and detritus. This species is over 65 million years old.The Lightning whelk acquired its name because the white shells of juveniles have chest-nut brown stripes with a zig-zag pattern reminiscent of lightning bolts. Their favorite food is clams and to detect them, they turn their long inhalant syphon in the direction of the current. They have a combined taste/smell organ in the syphon that can locate food at a considerable distance. The whelk then uses its large muscular foot to pry open the clam shell and inserts its radula and proboscis to remove the soft tissue inside.Sand dollar are left behind by the receding tide. In life, these animals have a felt-like coating of fi ne, brown movable spines. Their notches and holes provide a short cut for food bits traveling from their topside to their mouth.Florida fi ghting conchs are so named because of occasional bouts between rival males. They can quickly fl ip themselves and walk using their pointed operculum and eat sea-grass. The smaller crown conch is carnivorous and often preys on clams, mussels and oysters and is also known to be cannibalistic.Loggerhead sea turtle nests are clearly marked on Marco beach. Each nesting female makes an average of four nests, separated by two week intervals during the May-August nesting season. They typically take off 1-3 years between nesting trips, since the journey and laying 75-150 eggs per nest is so strenuous. Nests hatch be-tween July to October.All of this life is a sign of a healthy beach, which of course would not be possible without the sun. But everyone looks forward to its setting, and the two sunset scenes taken on that same walk, were particularly beautiful. So, go on, walk the beach and see what you can fi nd, but remember replace anything that is alive or you're not sure about.