The Saturday before our Marine Science Afloat trip, we went on another field trip to a tide pool park. It’s basically just a small strip of part rock-part sand beach. It was so much fun because we really just looked under rocks and saw tons of intertidal life. My teacher, Mrs. H, was there, too, and helped jog our memories on what phylum and class each animal belongs in. It’s so nice going to the beach and actually knowing what the animals are called. Only half of my class showed up (basically three kids including me), but Mrs. H’s daughter and her friend, along with some of Mrs. H’s other friends made the group a little larger.
It’s a miracle we actually got some sun! And it was actually warm! I call that a wonderful day out here. I was SO afraid it would rain, but the sun came out and made everyone happier . . . you know, as much happier as we can get going tide pooling at the beach with friends.
It was a minus tide so we saw lots of marine life. One boy in my class waded out in the water the whole entire time. He brought lots of animals back for us to see. He even got pinched by a Dungeness crab! It was hilarious! Especially when it grabbed on to his shoe and he took a really long time getting back to us. Here’s a moon snail that he brought back to us. Moon snails can grow quite big. They bore little holes in clam shells and suck out the inside. If you see a clam shell on the beach with a little hole in it, it was eaten by a moon snail. It’s kind of interesting that this huge snail can bore a tiny little hole. You won’t find a snail looking like this out of the water, though. When one is out of the water, it stuffs itself into its shell to shield itself from the sun and air. I don’t know how that thing can fit its fat body into the shell.
Under a large rock we found a monk fish. I don’t really get why it’s called that, but it was really cool to find a fish.
We also saw lots of crabs. TONS of crabs! Dungeness, red rock crabs, etc. . . . My favorite part was probably either the starfish or the sand dollars. I also really like the giant barnacles. One even had it’s feathery appendages out. Not something you see everyday.
I had a really fun time with my friends. Of course, you can never take something home that’s alive or has something living on it or in it. And, if you turn over a rock, always, ALWAYS turn the rock back over. There are organisms living on the top and bottom of the rock. The organisms living on top need the sun to live and the organisms on the bottom need the moisture to live. If you turn it over, their environments are drastically changed and they will most-likely die.
I encourage everyone to visit a tide pool every once in a while!