Wildlife of the Solway

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Wildlife of The Solway Firth Number 66 The Tadpole Shrimp (Triops Cancriformis) by Mark Vollers

On the Scottish side of the Solway Firth at Caerlaverock in remote brackish estuarine pools lives one of the oldest living species on earth, little changed for more than 200 million years. By contrast humans as the species recognised today have only been around for only a few hundred thousand years!  Tadpole Shrimps are an […]

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65. Native Lobster Breeding. Wildlife of The Solway

Wildlife of The Solway – 65 – Native Lobster Breeding. For the last five years the Lake District Coast Aquarium has been running a lobster hatchery as part of the aquarium display sequence. As a result of its successful operation we have released several thousand juveniles back into West Cumbrian coastal waters.  Apart from the […]

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64. The Sea Potato (Echinocardium cordatum) Wildlife of The Solway

64. Wildlife of The Solway Firth. The Sea Potato. Echinocardium cordatum. After a stormy period when the shallow sandy seabed of The Solway Firth has been agitated and re-arranged by waves and currents you may discover one or more strange looking pale potato size objects on the tideline. On further investigation, if they are found […]

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63. Fossils. Wildlife of The Solway Firth

63. Wildlife of The Solway Firth. Fossils. For most of us anyway the chance finding of a fossil whilst walking on a beach is a magical moment, a reminder of life forms that existed millions of years ago. The Solway Firth area in geological terms has not been submerged that long, only since the last […]

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60. The Pogge (Agonus Cataphractus) Wildlife of the Solway

#60 The Pogge (Agonus Cataphractus) Wildlife of the Solway Firth The Pogge or Hooknose is a very distinctive and easy to recognise small fish normally growing up to 10cm long but occasionally reaching 15 cm or more.  Overall colour is grey/brown with dark patches. It is not uncommon and is listed as a species of […]

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61. The Spiny Starfish (Marthasterias Glacialis) Wildlife of the Solway

#61 The Spiny Starfish (Marthasterias Glacialis) Wildlife of the Solway Firth This is a potentially quite large ( up to 70cm/28in across)  brownish/greenish grey starfish, sometimes with purple tips, that is native to Britain and found on the western coasts of England, Wales and Scotland. You are very unlikely to find one in a rockpool […]

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62. The European Squid (Loligo Vulgaris) Wildlife of the Solway

#62 The European Squid (Loligo Vulgaris) Wildlife of the Solway Firth Although there are several species of squid found in UK waters, their biology and habits are similar. One species found in The Solway Firth is the European squid which ranges South to North Africa and the Mediterranean, growing up to a size of between […]

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58. The King Scallop (Pecten Maximus) Wildlife of the Solway

This ‘seashell’ icon is widely recognised by the public as it has long been in use by the oil company Shell as it’s logo. The image is fact based on a King Scallop (Pecten maximus) shell, a shellfish species found in numerous localities in the Eastern Atlantic from Norway to Spain.    They are filter […]

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56. The Red Mullet (Mullus Surmeletus) Wildlife of the Solway

The Red Mullet (Mullus surmeletus) is, for the Solway Firth, an unusual fish that can grow up to 40cm long and weigh 1.5 kg, as it is found mainly in The Mediterranean and warmer Southern UK waters. It has nevertheless been recorded around most of the British Isles. It is a member of the Goatfish […]

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45. The Sea Trout (Salmo Trutta) Wildlife of the Solway

The Native Sea Trout and the Brown Trout are the same  species,  a fact which was only really settled with the advent of genetic testing.  What they certainly have in common is the need to be in  fresh water to breed, using gravel beds in upper reaches of rivers to lay their eggs. Young brown […]

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