Tide Pool

NEW ENGLAND TIDE POOL

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As the tide recedes on the rocky New England coast, some of the water remains trapped in pits and crevices.  These pools provide a haven for many organisms, though they have to be tough to survive in this environment.  The sun’s direct rays quickly heat the pools, affecting both temperature and the oxygen content since warmer water holds less oxygen than cold.  The salinity of a tide pool also changes rapidly—evaporation concentrates salt in the water, but heavy rain or runoff from land may strongly dilute it in under an hour. 

Despite all these obstacles, many seaweeds grow primarily in these pools because the space on the stones directly exposed to the open sea is taken up by thick, rubbery wrackweed (the yellow-brown Y-shaped leaves surrounded this drawing). These pools also provide homes for animals that could not survive the constant pounding of the waves against the exposed rocks nor consume the thick, rubbery flesh of wrackweed.

 

The organisms depicted here are:

Northern Seastar (Asterias rubens)

Green Sea Urchin (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis)

Intertidal Snail (Littorina littorea)

Blood Seastar (Henricia sanguinolenta)

Channeled Whelk (Busycotypus canaliculatus) Note: that "string of coins"-looking thing connected to the whelk is an eggcase.

Green Crab (Carcinus maenas)

Blue Mussels (Mytilus edulis)

Frilled Anemone (Metridium senile)

Purple Sea Cucumber (Cucumaria frondosa)

Dogwinkle (Nucella lapillus)

Orange Tunicate (Botrylloides diegensis)

Tubular Sea Lettuce (Ulva intestinalis)

Turtle Limpet (Tectura testudinalis)

Red Chiton (Tonicella rubra)

Acorn Barnacles (Semibalanus balanoides)

Long-clawed Hermit Crab (Pagurus longicarpus)

 

All of them surrounded by Bladder Wrackweed (Fucus vesiculosus)

 

Most of the information here was obtained from

A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore 

by Kenneth L. Gosner and Roger Tory Peterson

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Tide Pool ©2010 John Meszaros.  All Rights Reserved