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Showing posts from July, 2015
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It’s that time again! The full moon is approaching, bringing some of the lowest tides of the year and the tide pools are waiting for explorers!
Exposure at the Needle during a negative low tide Photo Courtesy of Alanna Kieffer
Tides for the approaching week:
Friday, July 31st –low tide: -1.4’ @ 7:18 AM High tide: 6.7’ @ 1:56 PM Low tide: 1.6’ @ 7:20 PM
Saturday, August 1st – low tide: -1.5’ @8:00 AM High tide: 7.1’ @ 2:36 PM Low tide: 1.2’ @ 8:10 PM
Sunday, August 2nd– low tide: -1.4’ @ 8:41 AM High tide: 7.3’ @ 3:16 PM Low tide: 0.8’ @ 8:59 PM
Monday, August 3rd – low tide: -1.1’ @ 9:22 AM
high tide: 7.5’ @ 3:57 PM Low tide: 0.6’ @ 9:50 PM
Tuesday, August 4th – low tide: -0.5’ @ 10:03 AM High tide: 7.6’ @ 4:40 PM Low tide: 0.5’ @ 10:44 PM
Wednesday, August 5th – low tide: 0.1’ @ 10:48 AM High tide: 7.6’ @ 5:26 PM Low tide: 0.5’@ 11:44 PM
Thursday, August 6th – low tide: 0.9 @ 11:38 AM High tide: 7.5’@ 6:17 PM
The best times to see the tide pools at Haystack Rock are during negative low tides!…

An Uncommon Visitor

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Every once in a while we receive a visit from an uncommon inhabitant in the tidepools ... this week it was an octopus! It was a small octopus; note the size relative to the anemone in the following picture.


Octopus in the Tidepool Photo Courtesy of Alanna Kieffer
Octopi have eight arms which typically bear suction cups. The majority of octopi have no internal skeleton or outer shell resulting in an almost completely soft body. The one exception is the beak, made of chitin, similar in shape to a parrot's beak. The soft body allow an octopus to squeeze in and between narrow spaces in rocks where they can hide from predators. They can also eject a thick, blackish ink in a cloud to aid in escaping from prey.
The octopus has a relatively short life, anywhere from 6 months to 5 years for some of the larger species. Reproduction is typically the cause of death; males live only a few moths after mating and females die shortly after their eggs hatch.
Most octopi are subtidal creatures, but…

They Look Like Flowers!

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Sea anemones may look like flowers but that are actually predatory animals. There are over 1000 species found worldwide in coastal waters in various sizes, shapes, and colors. They attach themselves to firm objects, primarily rocks at Haystack, and have a column-like body which is symmetric along the radial axis.  The anemone does not have a skeleton and can flatten or extend its body by changing its internal water pressure.

The Giant Green Anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica) is a common find in the tidepools of Haystack Rock. The green color comes from a symbiotic algae that lives in the tissue of the anemone.


Giant Green Anemone in the Tide Pool Photo Courtesy of Jeff Lemelin
The anemones mouth, surrounded by tentacles, is the single body opening. The tentacles have poison stingers, called nematocysts, that are used to catch food. The anemones are carnivores, typically feasting on fish, mussels, small crustaceans, worms and marine larvae. Even though the tentacles have poisonous st…