Driller Killers Roam the Coasts.....

........according to Dr Paul Naylor, an old fried of Coastwise, who gave a talk to members on Fascinating Marine Animals, the challenges they face, and interesting behaviour.

Paul is a marine biologist and very accomplished underwater photographer, who lives in South Devon and can walk to Wembury every day if necessary....very useful in lockdowns, when he was able to study the animal behaviour on the local reefs and rockpools in detail.

The "driller killers" are dog whelks, which attack other snails using a combination of a chemical release to soften the shell, followed by a neat hole created with a rough radula, or tongue.

Paul talked about cuttlefish, and very intelligent animal capable of astonishing colour and skin texture changes to provide camouflage. Their intelligence, bouyancy control, speed and camouflage ability make them a formidable predator, and they are currently the most valuable fishing catch landed at Brixham.  

His pictures of deep-snouted pipefish in seagrass showed how well these fascinating animals can blend in, and it's only when you spot an eye that you realise you'rer looking at one, rather than a blade of seagrass !

Paul also gave interesting insights into the capabilities and behaviour of crabs, wrasse and (his favourites, I suspect) tompot blennies. During this year he identified and studied 44 individuals in his local area, providing insights into their nesting and breeding habits.

Pictured R, from top, courtesy of Paul Naylor, Header Slide, diver/photographer, dog whelk and prey, cuttlefish camouflage sequence, one of Pauls many tompot blenny friends.

Follow this link for Dr Naylor's talk as a YouTube video...........

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