The rocky shore usually experiences strong waves.Animals living here must have special adaptations that allow them to survive these waves (hang on, not break). They also must survive both underwater and in the air. *Adaptations are certain features of plants or animals (how it looks or acts) that help it live in its environment.Common intertidal adaptations are camouflage and hard shells.*The rocky shore experiences tides--sometimes rocks are covered in water, and sometimes rocks are exposed to air.This is a difficult environment to live in because animals must be able to survive underwater and in air. *Organisms in this picture:Seaweed, anemones, sea starsAnemones out of the water pull in their tentacles to keep from drying out, while anemones under water keep tentacles out hoping to capture food.*The sculpin is a tiny fish that lives in tide pools. Its coloring often matches the tidepool where it lives.This is called camouflage, and is an adaptation to avoid predators.*Barnacles can be found throughout the rocky shore. These animals live their adult life glued to a rock or other hard object. At low tide they keep their shells tightly shut to keep from drying out or getting eaten. At high tide, their shells open and the animal captures food by filtering water with bristles on its legs (it is positioned head down).*This is a purple shore crab.This animal mostly eats small bits of seaweed, but also sometimes scavenges on bits of dead animals it finds. When the tide goes out it hides in tidepools or under rocks to keep from getting eaten by birds and to keep from drying out in the sun.*Hermit crabs can be found in tidepools. These crabs use (wear) empty snail shells to protect their bodies.
*Anemones can often be found attached to rocks in tidepools.They catch food items that touch their sticky tentacles, which then push the food into their mouth located in the center of their ring of tentacles.
*Chitons are able to clamp down on rocks when they need to keep from drying out, or to avoid getting knocked off by waves.Chitons eat algae, and use special mouth parts to scrape the algae off rocks.The 8 shells (valves) are surrounded by a muscle called the mantle.
*Like the barnacle, mussels are anchored to the rock (with threads called byssal threads), stay tightly closed when they are exposed to air, and open their shells to filter food particles from the water when they are under water.
*At low tide sea stars clings to rocks with their tube feet and often move under overhangs or under algae to keep from drying out.
*This common sea stars favorite food is mussels. When under water it moves over a mussel and covers the mussel with its body. It everts its stomach through its mouth, inserts its stomach into the mussel and uses enzymes to digest the soft animal inside the shells. This is one way to go out to lunch!At low tide the sea star clings to the rocks. It often moves under overhangs or under algae to keep from drying out.
*Seagulls fly over rocky shores looking for any kind of prey they can scavenge.
*Sea palms (a small kelp) are a seaweed that grows in the low intertidal zone where there are lots of waves. The strong waves keep off the animals (such as snails and limpets) that like to eat it.
This kelp anchors itself firmly to rocks with its holdfast and has an extra bendy stalk--both adaptations to keep it from getting broken off in big waves.
*The octopus is an animal that can be found in the low zone. It is a top predator that hunts all kinds of prey and uses its strong suckers and hard beak to open even the most tightly closed and hardest shells.