UNUSUAL marine life findings on Dorset beaches is an ‘indicator of climate change’, according to experts.

Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) says low tides surfaced some unusual findings at Charmouth and Kimmeridge where the ‘furrowed crab’ (Xantho hydrophilus) was found. This crab is very common further in the south west in Devon and Cornwall but has been very rarely recorded in Dorset. The charity said it may be a warning that climate change is changing the abundance of creatures on the seashore. Other seashore species have been spreading eastwards into Dorset and beyond in recent years.

Julie Hatcher, Marine Awareness Officer for Dorset Wildlife Trust, said: “Since I began working at Kimmeridge 15 years ago we have recorded the arrival and increase of toothed topshells on the seashore.

“These sea snails are common further west but have grown from none at all in the early 2000s to being a common find at Kimmeridge today. The small cushion starfish has also become common here since the first sighting in 2014. We now expect the furrowed crab to increase in abundance here too.”