There’s always a surprise at the New England Aquarium, as one young lady discovered at the West Coast Tidepool exhibit in the Northern Waters of the World Gallery. Take a look, it's worth the wait!
Tidepools are found at the water’s edge along rocky coastlines. Organisms have developed unique biological adaptations to survive powerful forces such as pounding waves and extreme temperature changes. They must be able to hold tightly to rocks and survive for periods out of water. In this exhibit, a simulated wave breaks regularly, aerating the water and delighting surprised visitors.
Sea anemones are most prominent in this tank. You may also find kelp, sea urchins and a few hardy fish. The abundant food supply in tidepools and adjacent kelp forests also attracts sea otters and seals.
The bat star’s name comes from the joined area between its arms, like the webbing between the bones of a bat’s wing. This adaptation may help the bat star withstand the force of crashing waves.
Bat star (photo: Jerry Kirkhart, via Wikimedia Commons)
Now take a moment to compare this tidepool from the West Coast to some you find around here, where you would find rockweed instead of large kelps, more mussels and crabs, smaller fish and fewer anemones and urchins. What might you find here at the Edge of the Sea tidepool touchtank here at the Aquarium? Come by sometime and have fun exploring tidepools from near and far, right here in downtown Boston!
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