Yellow-toothed Cowrie Photo Michael McMaster

Cowrie found here, previously not known South of Sydney

Michael McMaster has found several cowries which he has had trouble identifying. He sent these pictures to the Australian Museum and asked for their advice. This is the reply he received today:Yellow-toothed Cowrie    Photo Michael McMaster

Hi Michael

The general consensus is that the species is Cypraea xanthodon, now correctly known as Erronea xanthodon(see link below). This species is known to occur as far south as Sydney, but a specimen as far south as Bermagui is, indeed, unusual.

Though it is a pretty shell and you probably want to keep it, if you could bear to part with it, it would be a valuable addition to our collection given the considerable range extension.



Dr Mandy Reid
Collection Manager, Malacology Australian Museum”

Rare shark tooth found on beach

Amongst all the dried seaweed, Maggie Brown discovered this small shark tooth.

We were on a sapphire Coast Marine Society visit to Terrace Corner beach on Saturday. It is unusual to find a shark tooth on a beach, although sharks shed teeth regularly. This tooth is particularly interesting as we believe it is a Grey Nurse shark tooth. As they are an endangered species (See the Grey Nurse Shark video in News) this is an even more unusual finding. There is thought to be a Grey Nurse shark aggregation point around a nearby headland, so perhaps this is from a local resident.

The things that point to it being a Grey Nurse Shark are the fine shape and the two cusps either side of the main tooth. We have now verified the sighting using the reference P.R.Last and J.B.Stevens: “Sharks and Rays of Australia” ISBN0-643-05143-0

The SCMDC outing was scheduled for Lennard’s Island but a large fallen tree across the road made us change our plans. The weather was splendid and the 21 of us had a really interesting search. Survey species will be uploaded onto the database shortly.

Grey Nurse Shark tooth found by Maggie Brown 22.6.13

Footprints reveal species of oystercatcher

On Saturday we were at Terrace Corner Beach near Eden. We saw many things which were made fascinating by Michael’s explanations. One of the best was the tale of the wandering Oystercatcher.

We first found holes in the sand and were wondering if they might be Ghost Crab burrows, when we noticed that they were associated with the tracks of a bird. When asked what he thought, Michael floored us by saying they were Pied Oystercatcher tracks.

When asked how he could be sure the weren’t a Sooty Oystercatcher’s, he replied that they were typical of a Pied’s and that Sooty’s spent their time along the waveline rather than at the tideline searching in the wrack.

Pied Oystercatcher tracks at Terrace Beach

He also told u

Pied Oystercatcher Photo Liz Allen

s another tale of an observation he made at Point Hicks where he watched a Sooty Oystercatcher repeatedly collecting shells from the edge of the sea and making a pile of them. After a while, when the sun had warmed them up, the hermit crabs that lived in the shells started to crawl away – whereupon the Sooty would eat them as they emerged.

Webinar on Citizen Science for Coastal and Marine Environments

You may be interested to see what is happening around Australia right now. This webinar is organised by the American based “Ecosystem-based Management Tools Network”.

Citizen Science for Coastal and Marine Environments. This webinar featuring emerging research on marine citizen science in Australia, Redmap Australia, Reefwatch, Feral or in Peril, and Monitoring Seas and Inspiring Communities will be held on July 18 at 10 am Australian EST .  A description of the webinar and information on registering are below.

Thinking about starting a citizen science program and wondering how to make it successful? On this webinar, organizers from three marine citizen science programs in Australia will talk about their citizen science experiences and answer questions from participants. The webinar will last 1.5 hours to allow ample time for questions/discussion after the presentations. Featured presenters and projects are:• Carla Sbrocchi of the University of Technology, Sydney. Carla is currently completing a research study on the contributions of citizen science in the coastal and marine environment inAustralia and will present an overview of her findings.

• Gretta Pecl of the University of Tasmania. Range Extension Database and Mapping (Redmap) allows Australians to share sightings of marine species that are ‘uncommon’ to their local seas. Over time, Redmap will use this citizen science data to map which Australian marine species may be extending their distribution range in response to changes in the marine environment, such as ocean warming. Learn more at• Alex Gaut of the Conservation Council South Australia. The Reef Watch monitoring program provides recreational scuba divers, snorkelers and others with the skills to gather valuable information about temperate reefs (both subtidal and intertidal). Reef Watch survey methods are scientifically valid and provide data that is comparable with data collected by scientists. Learn more at Feral or in Peril is building an early warning network of recreational divers, anglers and boaters to help keep track of introduced marine pests that are a potential threat to marine ecosystems as well as local species of conservation concern. Learn more at  Monitoring Seas and Inspiring Communities (MOSAIC) is a brand new program starting with two pilot projects to implement citizen science in South Australia’s new marine park network.

SCMS Lennard’s Island June 22nd

Join a rocky shores ramble on Saturday 22ndJune at Lennard’s Island north of Eden with the Sapphire Coast Marine Society

Ophionereis schayeri

. This time of year we should see plenty of Sea Stars such as Clarkoma pulchra and Meridiastra calcar, ( see pictures ) along with a lot of other critters that tend to like the colder waters of winter rather than the warmth of summer. The rough seas of the last week should have also washed ashore some interesting marine debris.

We will meet up at Café Cass which is on the corner of the Princes Highway and Barclay Street in Eden, that is the street that you turn off the highway to go past the Eden Marine High School, at 10.30 am. Those that do not have a vehicle with high clearance can leave their car there and get a lift with others that are going. This outing is open to all who are interested and all are reminded to wear suitable footwear for climbing over rocks and possibly getting wet, you should also bring some lunch with you as there are no shops at Lennard’s Island.

Meridiastra calcar