Tight living spaces for life in the intertidal zone of Tapaltos Beach

Amanda loves tide pools

By Amanda Kahn
Sometimes, students may feel like they’ve had to share close quarters, sharing apartments or dorms or rooms with multiple roommates and generally feeling like there just isn’t enough space.  Animals, plants, and algae that live in the intertidal zone have to deal with that feeling all the time!  Below is a photo of the “mussel zone” at Tapaltos Beach.  Can you count how many blue-black mussels there are in that photo?!  I count at least 70, and it looks like there are even more white, scaly-looking gooseneck barnacles!

Intertidal organisms of Tapaltos Beach

Intertidal animals and algae compete for space at Tapaltos Beach. Credit: D Ludeman 2011

I guess we humans have another advantage beyond the tighter quarters the animals have to share…at least when sharing an apartment, it’s arguably all one species sharing the space!  How many different animals, plants, or algae can you recognize in this picture?