Scilly: other wildlife

Other wildlife included this freshly dead presumed female Sowerby's beaked whale (see also link image). The species is little known, with much information based around 150 or so strandings. Only the male has (two!) teeth. It was 11 feet and three inches long, and was beached at Periglis Bay, St Agnes. The eye lies low on the side of the body, making the head look upside-down.

Sowerby's beaked whale

Meadow brown butterflies were the focus of the work of Oxford entomologist and misogynist E.B. Ford over 30 years ago. Ford found that the under-hindwing spotting pattern varied on different islands, and even on hills in the same small island (Tean). My daughter Ramona decided to look at spotting patterns on some of the islands today as part of her GCSE Geography project. We had a snack at a Bavarian cafe only for the owner to tell us that a university team stayed with her two weeks earlier to study 'the spots on the wings of a butterfly that hadn't been studied for 30 years'! Now that's a coincidence.

No spots on hindwing

Meadow Brown

Three spots on hindwing.

Meadow Brown

Four (or five?) spots on hindwing.

Meadow Brown

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