Have you ever been to a beach? And you wonder what are those small leathery pouches that are washed up on the strand line? Find out what a mermaid purse is and more as you keep on reading.
Mermaid purses are egg cases that are mostly washed up on the beach and are frequently mistaken for seaweed. Interestingly, it is a tough little pouch that is designed to protect baby sharks and rays.
What Are Mermaid Purses?
A Mermaid purse is a thick leather pouch that sharks used to protect their embryos from prey. There are some sharks that give birth like humans and there are some that lay eggs.
Also, the ones that lay eggs develop their young embryo within a case for up to 15 months, these cases are referred to as mermaid’s purses. After 15 days, the egg is hatched out of the purse leaving the egg case or purse behind to be washed away by the sea.
Interestingly, mermaid purses on beaches can be used by marine biologists to spot the primary areas for both shark and ray species. When you see a mermaid egg case around a seashore or beach, you should be careful around the water.
What Does a Mermaid Purse Look Like?
For easy Identification, mermaid purses are mostly sighted on shores. When they are washed to the seashore, they are mostly brown or black. However, most people tend to confuse mermaid purses with seaweed.
Also, the mermaid purse is leathery in texture, and it mostly has two or four tendrils which are hanging from one end of it. In addition, the tendrils hanging on it look curled or spikey.
Where to Find a Mermaid Purse?
Mermaid purses are often washed up on the sea or ocean shore. In addition, even after the eggs have been hatched, their sacks are still thick. Also, you can easily spot a mermaid egg case on a beach as a small black or brown leather.
If looked closely, the purse looks like a small baby bag. Interestingly, mermaid purses are washed along with seaweed or grass because sharks use them to protect their eggs, especially the embryo before they are hatched.
Can you Keep a Mermaid Purse?
Yes, you can keep a mermaid purse. The purse is small, which is very portable to keep or carry around. Interestingly, a mermaid egg case can stay dry and intact for as many years as possible.
In addition, to keep a mermaid purse you must first make sure that it is empty once it is empty you can dry it under the sun before you keep it.
What Comes Out of a Mermaid Purse?
What comes out of a mermaid purse is mostly shark species. The only thing that comes out from a mermaid egg case is the hatched eggs of a shark or ray.
Also, most of the sharks that can lay eggs using a mermaid purse are catshark, Dogshark, and Bullhead sharks.
In conclusion, mermaid purses are produced by sharks to protect the embryo from external prey. Also, they are mostly found on the sea or ocean floor.