Riddle in the dunes

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Planapo
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Riddle in the dunes

Post by Planapo »

Hi folks,

I´ve got a little riddle for you. :D
A while ago I´ve photographed "this thing" in the dunes when we were on our way from the beach back to the car. It was at night, almost dark and it happened on the southernmost Danish island in the North Sea, called Rømø.

Here I show a section of my photo of the whole "thing". The long side of the section is measuring about 2 cm, and you can see a lot of sand grains.

Now, can you recognize what "thing" we encountered there in the middle of the night in the dunes of Rømø? Have a guess!

Image


Good luck!
Betty

beetleman
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Post by beetleman »

Well, lets see. We have night time at the beach, and a creature covered in sand. I am going to guess a baby sea turtle :wink:
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
Doug Breda

beetleman
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Post by beetleman »

Come on people, lets see some other guesses here :-k :lol:
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
Doug Breda

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

I dunno, Doug, this one's pretty hard. Given the stated size, that crescent-shaped thing is almost a full centimeter wide. Seems awful big for a hatching sea turtle, but on the other hand I don't have much first-hand experience with those things, if y'know what I mean. And it's true, Google search on Rømø sea turtles does turn up several hundred hits. Besides which, I have no better ideas. The eye, if it is an eye, doesn't seem right for a lizard or snake.

Maybe it's someone's lost graduation ring? :roll: (Nah, I'm betting on the turtle, too. :D )

--Rik

Danny
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Post by Danny »

Put me down for a Lizard covered in diamonds.

Danny.
Worry about the image that comes out of the box, rather than the box itself.

Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

Crabs eye? :-k

Planapo
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Post by Planapo »

It seems it was harder than I thought.

You are right that the section shows an eye and that the animal is something for the herpetologist.
But sea turtles are not typically encountered in the waters of the inner North Sea. To my knowledge the nearest other places in Europe where sea turtles are more regularly sighted are the waters around Ireland and the British west coast. And the nearest breeding grounds in Europe are in the Mediterranean.

I think you were misled by my info where I found it. :D
Well, I wouldn´t have expected it there either. But from further reading I´ve learned that sandy areas are quite its natural habitat. In addition this animal is running on all of its four legs and not hopping as one would expect from its kind. That night it was running across our path and we first thought of a mouse or vole. Disturbed by our torch light it ran to a little slope nearby where it rapidly digged a hole into the sand with its hindlegs shovelling the sand onto its back and thus burying itself. Well, even this I wouldn´t have expected from an animal of its kind. Isn´t that a bit itchy when having such a moist and sticky skin? :D :-k
Obviously not! The little feller seemed to feel quite fine in his crumbs. :lol:

It´s a toad, called Natterjack Toad in English, more internationally its Latin name is Bufo calamita, syn. Epidalea calamita.





Image

Cheers,
Betty


P. S. Gee, uploaded and on my LCD the picture looks rubbish again.:( It looked much better on my CRT, though. What does it look like on your monitor?
Last edited by Planapo on Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

Mike B in OKlahoma
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Post by Mike B in OKlahoma »

What a nifty hideout for the little guy!

On my CRT (which I need to calibrate again), the pic looks okay, though the colors aren't very vivid. But sand isn't known (usually) for rich color, so that may be appropriate.
Mike Broderick
Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Constructive critiques of my pictures, and reposts in this forum for purposes of critique are welcome

"I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul....My mandate includes weird bugs."
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Bruce Williams
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Post by Bruce Williams »

I was just going to make a guess at a frog. Having just checked out Phil's recent posting I was struck by the similarity between your mystery pic and the far eye in Phil's pic2. Would have been close :D

Bruce

beetleman
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Post by beetleman »

Well, I was going to say "Toad" (yea, right) :wink: I did think about a toad but I did not think there would be one that would like a harsh salt water enviroment except Bufo marinus, the large cane toad, which I did not think would be located anywhere near the north sea. I certainly do not think a true frog would like all that sand on its` moist body. Toads are dry and tough and they basically do the same type of digging around here also (Bufo americanus). Good job Betty, a interesting creature for sure. The picture looks fine on my CRT.
Last edited by beetleman on Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
Doug Breda

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Well, you got us all on that one, Betty! "Toad" never even occurred to me.

Colors on that last picture look pretty reasonable -- the sand is slightly tan, there is a hint of greenish blue around the toad, especially at the edge of the eye and around its nose.

Among the "Variations" offered by Photoshop, I prefer a bit More Red (at the second notch). But of course I can't tell whether that's any more accurate than what you have posted.

--Rik

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