As I mentioned yesterday, Saturday we had very low and high tides caused by the super perigee moon. Before I shot the moonrise over Thacher Island, I went over to Annisquam to check out the low tide. This is a good area to find live sand dollars during abnormally low tides.
What I found was a purgatory for sand dollars. Many were stranded for hours without water. This is a live sand dollar. Note that it is rich brown in color and it has spines that give it a velvety appearance. These bristles move slowly and propel the animal along and in the sandy bottom.
It's fun to pick up a souvenir from the beach, but if you find one like this it is a living creature. These sand dollars are in a bit of trouble. They are stranded high above the water line and the tide I out. Yet their spines slowly work their three inch diameter bodies into the sand. But if the conditions are not right, they can become stranded on the surface.
Then at last, the tide turns and brings the fresh sea water over their tops. And they are safe for another 12 hours. It isn't every day that they are exposed like this on Annisquam. Only during the really low tides.