Oddly-shaped blobs caused alarm to a local dogwalker when he found them on Ardrossan beach

Steve Dehavilland was concerned that the strange objects he discovered last week might be pigs’ feet and contacted the Herald.

Fortunately, the items were not animal parts, but appeared to be a type of coral, commonly found around Britain and Ireland.

When the Herald first spoke to Steve, he said: “I saw that article about Robertson’s and I wondered. They look like pig’s feet. I thought they looked like big paws at first. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

The Herald spoke to David Devoy, area coordinator at BDMLR Clydeside and Ayrshire. He said that the organism “looks very much like dead man’s fingers, which is a soft coral found in the North Sea but only washes up in certain areas.”

Alcyonium digitatum, or ‘dead man’s fingers’ is a colonial coral found in the Atlantic coasts of northern Europe. Colonies, which can live up to 20 years, form clumps of yellow, white or cream-coloured fleshy masses of finger-like lobes.