After Monday’s deluge there was a break in the weather yesterday and we made the most of it, taking the kids to Air Force Beach in Comox to enjoy the sun. Surprisingly, we had never been to Air Force Beach before despite the length of time we’ve lived in the Comox Valley. We’ll definitely be back – it’s a beautiful beach that joins up with the long sandy stretch of Kye Bay.
One of the treasures that we discovered on the beach (in addition to two very dead octopuses) was a near perfect Jingle Shell (Pododesmus macrochisma). This native “rock oyster” attaches itself to the rocky bottom of the ocean with a short, thick byssus through a hole in the lower shell rather than cementing itself directly to the rock. The Jingle Shell is actually not a true oyster and belongs in the family Anomiidae within the order Ostreoida.
Jingle Shells can be found in the intertidal zone to depths of up to 90m. Judging from the amount of seaweed washed up on the beach it is possible that this shell was washed up in the recent storm. Regardless, it was picked clean by scavengers and in stunning condition. We’ve found Jingle Shells at other beaches but none that were this clean.
The name Jingle Shell references the thin lower shell that makes a “jingling” sound when tied together with other Jingle Shells. The interior of the shell is a striking green which also gives it the common name Green Falsejingle.
We left this shell on the beach for others to enjoy. Hopefully some other lucky beach combers will discover it and appreciate its beauty as much as we did.