MadSci Network: Zoology

Re: Tide pool life

Area: Zoology
Posted By: Keith McGuinness, Faculty Biology
Date: Thu Aug 29 01:29:08 1996
Message ID: 837238543.Zo

I am not from your part of the world so I can only give
you a general answer to your question and cannot refer to
the particular kinds of animals you see. 

The mobile animals (such as crabs, snails and sea stars)
*may* be able to move to deeper water, or to areas which 
do not get covered by the sand. How many animals could 
do this would depend on how quickly the sand was washed in,
and how large an area it covered. Most of these animals
would die if buried for any length of time (say, more than
a few hours or days). Some snails can hibernate, so might
be able to survive, but I haven't heard of crabs and sea
stars doing this.

Many of the attached animals (anemones, barnacles and 
tube worms) would be killed, and for the same reasons as 
the mobile animals; they would not be able to feed or
breathe properly. Again, some may be able to hibernate
and survive. Bryozoans ("moss animals") may be able to do
this. Also some anemones seem to be able to tolerate burial
for at least a while. On one shore I studied I found a group
of several large anemones which were buried regularly for
days or weeks but were obviously very old and very healthy.
Anemones can go for long periods (several months) without
feeding and, if the sand is reasonably coarse, might still
get enough oxygen.

So it is quite likely that much of the life recolonises the
shore during the winter.

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