This little critter is a limpet. From the photo they may not look like the most exciting of creatures. If you’ve ever been down to the coast and taken a look at them yourself… your opinion may not have changed. They don’t seem to move around a lot, or do a lot. Of course looks can be deceiving. Under that shell is the limpet’s squishy body – and their big, muscular foot which, alongside a pretty amazing adhesive secretion, they use to cling onto rocks and other hard surfaces. Anyone who has ever had a go at trying to get a limpet off a rock knows how good a grip they can have. This fabulous foot isn’t just used to stop them from drying out when the tide leaves them exposed to the air, or keep pesky predators (or nosy humans) at bay. Limpets are grazers, feeding on tiny algae on the surface of rocks with their raspy “tongue” (called a radula). See that empty space behind the limpet in the photo? That’s where it’s been grazing. Once they have grazed an area they need to find more food. That foot gets to work, and along moves the limpet, munching up all the algae in its path. Some limpet species even appear to have a home – a particular crevice that they return to just before the tide will expose them to the air.
But this isn’t a post about how amazing limpets are. This is a post about animal movements in the ocean.. Or at least 3 different types of animal movement. Some of them move a lot further than you think. Yes, even limpets.