Sandy sea beds are far from being deserts and have a surprising wealth of life. They are the result of long-term erosion from the land and the calcareous remians of marine animals. Many rays and crabs like to bury themselves in the sand, and underneath is a realm of molluscs and worms.
Scientific surveys have shown that some Victorian sandy environments have the highest levels of animal diversity in the sea ever recorded. Animals found in Sandy Plains include Smooth Stingray (Dasyatis brevicaudata), Pipi (Plebidonax deltoids), Dumpling Squid (Euprymna tasmanica), Common Stargazer (Kathetostoma leave) and Heart Urchin (Echinocardium cordatum). Some species even have the ability to change the patterns and shading on the topside of the body to match the sand colour and particle size.
- Gaskell, J. J., Smith, C. G. & Coker, E. Y. (2009) Beneath our bay: Discovering the hidden secrets of Port Phillip.