Of all the creatures found along the shoreline, none, perhaps, is more curious than ferrum deprehensio, better known as the
weirdo metal detector. Typically solitary by nature, the metal detector can often be found scrounging for pennies engaged in their foraging behaviour as the sun sets and the last holiday maker has left the beach. They will - in extremis - scavenge along the foreshore, but their preference is to hover incessantly beyond the tideline - in particular over recently vacated spots where Beach Bums, Nippers and holiday makers have made temporary nests.
This particular sub species has, in almost every respect, the colouring and physical characteristics of homo sapiens but is in fact an invertebrate. Their shuffling gait and poor auditory awareness, along with a tendency to wear Pac-A-Macs even in extreme heat are generally accepted as distinguishing features.
Their sensory equipment is their most prized possession
along with a trowel and when they gather in groups - an infrequent occurrence - there is much competitive display of this sensory apparatus.
Whilst baiting of any wild animal cannot be encouraged, it is hard to resist the harmless sport of "coin flicking" when one comes across this peculiar beastie. I have found best results are to approach the animal from head on (they are nearly always staring at their feet) and flick a sovereign into the sand just ahead of their sensory equipment. Feign casual surprise, followed by rapturous delight when you bend down to pick up said coin. You will be treated to much clucking and harrumphing by the ferrum deprehensio. Enjoy!
The life span of the creature is usually substantial. Occasionally, one will explode after having dredged up some unexploded ordinance. Ah - cruel nature!