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If you find something interesting or mysterious at the North Sea beach, BeachExplorer is the right website for you! We offer determination support and inform about all kinds of beached objects - natural or man-made. We collect all records and make them available for scientific coastal research.

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Cuttlefishbones

4. Oct: Some owners of pet birds...

4. Oct:

Some owners of pet birds are surprised to find oval white chalk plates washed ashore as they know them from pet shops where they are sold as supplementary bird food. The plates are backbones of cuttlefish. Cuttlefishbones stay adrift for months and reach the Waddensea originating from France or England. Seabirds like pecking the cuttlefishbones and leave their bill marks on them. Usually the bones stem from the Common cuttlefish which may reach 40 cms in size. Smaller backbones may be from rarer southern cuttlefish species. Living cuttlefish are hardly ever found in the Waddensea, the reason is unclear.

Search campaigns
  • Porpoise sightings

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  • Seals with flipper tags

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  • Birds with rings

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  • Wooden drifters

    Picture informations: Wooden drifters

    Author(s) Holger Freund
    Licence owner ICBM Uni Oldenburg
    Licence statement Copyrighted Material; the copyright remains with the author (not this web publication)
    Licence cc-by-sa 3.0

  • Excursion dates
  • Educational material
  • Marine protection
Beach experiences - where and when?
To excursion dates

Guided beach excursions with explanations of biological facts and coastal protection topics are offered all along the coast. A list of places, providers and excursion dates can be found here:

School material
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Free education material on Wadden Sea and North Sea is being developed. Already available are work sheets and teacher's material for our „Strandforscher”-program for primary schools (in german only).

Marine protection
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Here you find background informations about biology and protection of Wadden Sea and North Sea.