Kelp forests carpet rocky outcrops in Filey Bay and at Flamborough Head to a depth of about 10 metres. Kelps have been compared to Oak forests of the sea, with hundreds of species living on them or in their root system, which is called a ‘holdfast’. The prettiest kelp dweller by far is the little blue rayed limpet (Patella pellucida) which is commonly seen living on the kelp’s blade (equivalent to a leaf stucture). The limpet is usually about 5 to 10mm in size and eats the kelp blade by rasping at it with its teeth.
The blue rayed limpet may be pretty at first but as it grows it makes its way down the kelp into the root, losing its pretty markings. Once in the root it eats away the surrounding tissue, with the result that the kelp looses its grip and is washed away.
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