|The stiff southerly wind today brought ashore a treat for anyone interested in sealife when small numbers of these By The Wind Sailors were left stranded on Oldshoremore Beach.|
No more than three inches long, these deep blue creatures have no means of propulsion other than the transparent 'sail' that grows from the surface of their raft-like bodies.
By The Wind Sailors (Velella velella) are a colony creature, or Hydrozoa, consisting of a multitude of tiny creatures combined together and serving specific tasks.
They catch and digest fish or shrimp eggs and other plankton by way of tiny poison-loaded tentacles which are harmless to humans.
Interesting enough they come in right- and left-handed varieties, distinguished by which side the sail bends towards.