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28 October 2014
Inside Out: Surprising Stories, Familiar Places

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   Inside Out - South: Monday 14th October, 2002

DORSET'S WORLD HERITAGE COAST

Brittle Stars, Copyright of Colin Froud, Divercol Productions
DORSET COAST PHOTO GALLERY

Inside Out has descended beneath the waters of Dorset's world heritage coast. This voyage of discovery proves that you don't need to trek to exotic places to discover extraordinary creatures living secret lives.

Seasearch project

Marine conservationist Lisa Browning joined the Seasearch project for their dives.

Seasearch is an ambitious national project to map the seabed off the British coast.

We still know very little about life beneath the waves, so Seasearch is an exploration as well as adventure. Divers record everything they see, however small.

Spidercrabs

Seaslug
The seaslug uses the stinging cells of its prey for its own defence
Image © Colin Froud, Divercol Productions

One of Seasearch’s interesting discoveries was a temporary city of spidercrabs off Lyme Bay.

Once a year the spidercrabs gather together for safety while they molt their old shells and grow a new one.

The Seasearch team collected unique footage of fifty thousand crabs gathered together for a few weeks.

They then dispersed back to their solitary lifestyles off Dorset.

Seahorses

Seahorses are under threat world-wide, but little is known about UK numbers.

The Seasearch project may change this.

These beautiful creatures not only mate for life, but it is the male which gets pregnant and gives birth.

Wrasse

Wrasse
The Wrasse can change its sex
Image © Colin Froud, Divercol Productions

The Wrasse is another amazing creature that Seasearch has observed.

It goes one step further and changes sex during its life.

When the senior male wrasse dies, the most senior female in the area will change sex to replace him!

These are just some of the remarkable discoveries about west Dorset sealife made possible by the Seasearch project.

It opens up an underwater world that is sure to fascinate and intrigue as the project continues.

See also ...

On the rest of the web
Seasearch
South East Marine
Marine life rescue
Marine life
AtoZ of marine life
British marine life study society

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