Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sea mysteries

A few weeks ago, on one of my beach explorations I found these devil's purses washed up on the high tide line.  Egg cases like these are found worldwide and come from skates, rays and some sharks and are also known as 'mermaid's purses'.

They vary in size and colour, these being fairly large.  By the time they are washed up, the embryos are usually long gone from their casing into the open sea.   I was given a link to an egg casing identification site and by comparing size, shape and colour have determined that the casings that I have likely come from Undulate Rays.

Rays and skates belong the shark family and are common in waters around the world.

I had the casing in front of me in the car and the only paper to hand was the back of a large brown envelopeso this is the resulting sketch. I'm currently working on various sketches and compositions with these for a larger drawing or painting.


Billie Crain said...

I've never heard of such a thing before. Really interesting!

barb said...

omg so cool jeanette!

travelingsuep said...

Fabulous sketches.

Growing up we called them mermaids purses, I've never heard them called devil's purses though.

Jeanette said...

Aren't they different Billie. I guess being right on the ocean here, they become more common perhaps and we take them for granted to a degree.

Barb, you can see how they invent 'aliens' in movies can't you? Its all from nature.

Sue, I'm sure names for them vary around the world. I just love the shapes of them.

Ann said...

I love drawing these too! Yours look a little larger and smoother than the ones we see on the Carolina beaches.

Susan Liles said...

So much I don't know about the ocean, mountain person,.. very interesting.