Manatee County's Tidal Trivia

  • Jun 28, 2011

You are standing on the bank of the mighty Manatee River. It flows from one edge of Manatee County to another, stretching from our farthest eastern bordern to the edge of our coastline. Emerson Point is bordered by the Manatee River, and the surrounding water bodies, on three sides making it the County's peninsula preserve.

Manatee River Trivia Challenge Answers

Emerson Point Sunset
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Emerson Point Sunset

Tidal Trivia Challenge Answers:

 

June 2011

 

  • Look for the giant white cross across the river. This is located on the Riverview Pointe property, adjacent to DeSoto National Memorial.
  • The southern part of Tampa Bay and then into the Gulf of Mexico
  • The Manatee River is a freshwater river. But here, where it empties into the Gulf and Bay, it is an estuary; a mixture of both fresh and salt water.
  • Scientists debate the reason why mullet jump out of the water. Some believe it is to avoid predators, others think it is to shake off parasites, and some believe it is simply for entertainment and fun. Further research is needed...maybe you can be the scientist who discovers why!
  • The Manatee River, from mouth to source of the longest tributary (the North Fork) is 53.3 miles long. The East Fork is about a mile shorter at 52 miles. Source: USGS NGD flowline data
  • Braden River
  • Headwaters at Duette Preserve (located just north of Duette Preserve, across SR 62)

 

What am I?

Whelk Egg Case
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Whelk Egg Case

The mystery item is an egg case from a whelk. Did you know shells could lay eggs? The shell itself is the home to a mollusk that lives inside. In the case of whelks and conchs, the animal that lives inside of the shell is a soft-bodied slug-like creature. Whelks and conchs are snails that live in the water and, like the snails you would find in your garden, carry their shells with them and create larger shells as their bodies increase in size. To reproduce the whelk secretes this egg case, attaching it to a rock or some other hard object. Each long case can have 50 to 175 individual capsules, each of which can contain 20 to 100 baby whelks inside the case. If you find an egg case washed up on the beach, check to see if there are holes in the capsules. If so, it means that the baby whelks in these capsules have hatched.

Adult Whelks: Pear or Lightening?

Image Adult Whelks: Pear or Lightening?

Our two most common whelks found in the Manatee River are pear and lightening whelks. The difference between the two is the direction of the opening. If you hold both shells side by side, each would have the opening on a different side of the shell. The photo to the left shows a lightening whelk - it's opening is on the left side. A pear whelk's opening is on the right side.