Tag Archives: sea potato

Flatfish and Sea Potatoes

A couple of days before New Year we headed for Ross Beach on the North West Mayo coast. This is one of our favourite beaches, particularly during the summer. But this was a frosty morning and there was actually frost on the sand, not something I’d seen before.

Ross beach

Ross beach

The tide was going out and had left some interesting things behind it. There was no sign of injury to this flatfish so I am not sure what resulted in its demise. Irish waters have 22 species of flatfish though there are 600 species worldwide.

Flatfish

Flatfish

These sea potato remains (known as a ‘test’), are a common find on this beach but there were probably about twenty. Recent storms may have been a cause. Alive, these little creatures are usually buried up to 15cm deep in sand or muddy sediments. They are also covered with yellow/brown spines. Sea potatoes are related to sea urchins.

Sea Potato

Sea Potato (Echinocardium cordatum)

Sea Potatoes

Sea Potatoes

There was also a lot of kelp washed up, which again is something that is found after the sea bottom has been disturbed by big waves. Despite the blue sky, the wind was cold so we were all glad to get back to the car.

Ross Beach

Ross Beach