The National Trust cares for some of our most cherished places, landscapes and wildlife habitats on the Northumberland Coast including Lindisfarne Castle, The Farne Islands, the two inland sites of Ros Castle and St Cuthbert's Cave, and over 12 miles of stunning coast over a forty mile stretch. These include St Aidan's dunes at Seahouses, Beadnell lime kilns, Craster to Low Newton (including Dunstanburgh Castle and Embleton Bay), Buston Links at Alnmouth and Druridge Bay.
Monday, 6 July 2015
It's Amazing What You Come Across On The Farnes
During their work on the Farne
Islands the rangers come across many unusual and interesting discoveries. If
you visited a few weeks ago you may have been lucky enough to see (and
smell) this lovely lumpsucker.
Rhian Davies, our of the islands' Assistant Rangers tells us a little more. "The lumpsucker (including its scientific name of
Cyclopterus lumpus) is aptly
named as it has a large sucker on its belly. This sucker is an adaptation
formed by the fusion of the pectoral fins, allowing it to hold on to the sea
bed in strong tides.
"After discovering it on the
jetty, where it had been providing breakfast for a Herring Gull, we did a little research into exactly what had been found. The
vivid colours show this dashing individual is a breeding male. During the
breeding season the role of the male is to guard the eggs the female lays on
rocks in shallow waters. There can be up to 400,000 eggs which the male must
protect from predators, typically other fish. He must also keep the eggs
ventilated by fanning water over them, ensuring there is a continuous supply of
well oxygenated water for them.
"Once hatched, which can be
up to 10 weeks after being laid, the young lumpsuckers live in shallow water,
typically in pools close to the shore. Males can grow up to 50cm long with
females being up to 60cm. They eat worms, crustaceans, fish eggs and young and
some types of jellyfish. It’s not until around five years old that the
lumpsuckers are fully mature and can begin the whole cycle again."