You have probably spent the whole of the last fortnight checking daily to see if I might have written the second part, and solution, of the stone-eating-worm mystery… In case you are seriously out of touch with current affairs and missed it, you can read part 1 HERE.
As I have said, all of the stones on the beach had been eaten by something. There were worm-holes of varying sizes in everything, even in us by the end of the day. We had walked five miles up the coast to some red cliffs with big holes where we thought the worms might be living, but had found nothing, only a rather nice view of Bass Rock.
We sat down in the sand for a while to contemplate things. I had taken a lot of photos as I thought it might be useful to gather evidence to confront the worms with in case they denied eating the stones. I had also collected a lot of small rocks for the same purpose, and this meant that the long walk back was heavy and tiresome.
We arrived home without answers and had a cup of tea with my brother. We told him of our troubles and explained to him our confusion and he did a little bit of thinking too…
… it was Piddocks.
A Piddock is a small and shy little mollusc. He is very fragile and frightened of the open water and has evolved himself into a great protection from this. He has a strong foot which suctions onto rock and his shell has two sides which have rows of little teeth to the bottom. This he uses as an efficient drill to bore a hole down inside the stone and there he lives, peeping out and eating the small foods which pass by his entrance.
What a funny little creature. Had we seen one – and we actually did see a few, still rattling around the holes in the stones – we never would have suspected him of causing such extensive damage to a whole environment.
Now I know what you are thinking: “I don’t read Lil’s blog for interesting stories about beach adventures and molluscs; I read Lil’s blog because I want to buy jewellery from her shop“. Well coincidentally, here is a rather nice and rounded genuine Piddock hole pendant – available for purchase HERE.