A Free-Floating Marine Red Alga

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ON April 14, 1959, during a research trip along the coast of Victoria, Australia, the beach at Bridgewater Bay, near Portland, was observed from a distance to show a deep red band at about high-water mark, and the sea to be similarly coloured close inshore. The band on the beach was up to 25 ft. broad and several hundred yards long, and consisted of enormous numbers of deep red algal balls, each about 1 cm. in diameter. The mass of balls was generally 1–2 in. deep, but in places reached 10 in. Amongst rocks at the end of the beach the balls were piled up 2–3 ft. high, and large rock pools were completely filled with them. Other algæ were virtually absent from this drift, but further eastwards along the beach fairly rich drift of other algæ occurred. In no case were the red algal balls found attached to any other alga or marine angiosperm.

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WOMERSLEY, H., NORRIS, R. A Free-Floating Marine Red Alga. Nature 184, 828–829 (1959) doi:10.1038/184828a0

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