Patch of Sky

Patch of Sky

For Dave of Pairodox Farms, a post inspired by his fascinating blog.

5 responses

  1. derrycats

    LOVE this photo!

    July 22, 2016 at 11:54 am

  2. …in a rather unlikely place. Nice find, Lemony….

    July 23, 2016 at 1:21 pm

  3. Please forgive me for taking so long to get back to you L/E. I saw this post just as J and I were preparing to be out of town for a few days … got back a couple of hours ago. Thank you so much for thinking of me and for posting this great photo of a Mussel. At the risk of sounding really obnoxious I’ll point out that the molluscan shell is manufactured in three layers (from outside to inside, periostracum, prismatic layer, and nacreous layer). The outer periostracum is made of protein and easily abraded (as the image shows). The prismatic layer is made of calcium and is substantial in marine species. I’m guessing that this is a freshwater form which explains why the layer is thin here. The most beautiful layer though is that which is deep inside (and lays right next to the animal’s tissues) … the nacreous layer … made of protein and calcium. This is also called Mother-of-Pearl. When a piece of sand or other particulate material finds its way in and lodges between the tissue of the animal (called mantle) and the shell … the thing behaves like sand would in your swimsuit! It acts as an irritant. So, in response, the mollusc secretes nacre to coat it with a smooth surface. And that, in a general way, is how pearls are made. There are, of course, natural pearls (which aren’t very much to look at) and the cultured variety which are prized for their beauty. So … next time you see a pearl remember that the lustrous thing you admire is simply an oyster’s way of protecting its delicate tissues. Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to talk to someone (or two) about something I think is so interesting. I am enjoying this ongoing series of shell images – keep them coming. D

    July 26, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    • Thank you, D. I have enjoyed reading your replies to these posts, and especially glad for your explanation for this one. 🙂

      August 1, 2016 at 9:07 am

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