Shorelines

Tide Pools

Tide PoolAlthough tide pools can exist on sandy beaches as well, many are found in the intertidal zone along rocky coasts. They are simply holes or crevices that stay filled with water once the tide goes out. Some tide pools are below the low-tide line. That means that they have ocean water in them most of the time. Tide pools that are above the low-tide line are exposed to air much of each day.

Life in a Tide Pool
Sea StarDifferent kinds of plant and animal life can be found in tide pools. All organisms that live in tide pools must be able to withstand extreme fluctuations in conditions. For example, when a big rainfall occurs, the tide pool receives lots of fresh water. When it's hot, the temperature in the tide pool is much different than it is on a cold day.

Many animals make the tide pool home. These animals include sea stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, barnacles, and anenomes.

The Pacific octopus also makes the tidepool home. The octopus is related to the squid, but lives in rocks and caves instead of the open sea. The Pacific octopus is usually dark red and has 8 tentacles, with 2 rows of suckers on each tentacle. Most arms are 2-3 feet long, but sometimes arms can reach lengths of 14 feet! The octopus uses these arms to feed on crabs, snails and clams.

Disclaimer
Copyright © 2002 Missouri Botanical Garden
MBGnet Home