Spotted this on the beach near one of the Common Purple Snails shown the other day to you. Looked at first like a shell on top of some dark sand. Moving to the side so that I didn’t cast a shadow on it I saw the vertical clear “sail” on top. It is a By-The-Wind-Sailor (Velella, aka Sea Raft. It makes sense that I saw it near one of its predators, the Common Purple Snail. The By-the-wind-sailor is related to the Men of War. This one was only a couple of inches in size; not sure how large they can become. I continued to be amazed and humbled by nature’s designs. Brand new miracle found (witnessed?) this morning!
Once again, I am awed by nature. This morning walking on the beach I saw this lovely little purple snail shell; during my walk I found about six more of them. They seemed to be blowing bubbles?! I did try to remove/pop bubbles on one, but it was clearly attached to the dear slug inside the shell, so I left it alone, except for placing it at the edge of the tide. Turns out that these Common Purple Snails live on Men of War as predators. However, when a situation arises where they detach from the Men of War then it automatically secretes a foamy pillow as a floatation device. Wow! So simple and so effective! I am humbled and impressed.
See one of my favorite reference books: Florida’s Living Beaches by Witherington, for more information.