I moved from Salt Lake City (UT) to New England (NH) about a year ago to study Marine Science. The first thing I did was go to the beach. "Finally!" I thought, "I can visit the ocean whenever I please!"
The tidal pools were teaming with sea life! I quickly realized, however, I knew few of the names for these creatures. After my first visit to the North Atlantic, I went straight to the ol' trusty internet to see what I could muster. To my dismay, there wasn't too much out there.
Now, me being the gung-ho person I am, I did not give up! Below I have included the typical organisms you may encounter with your visible eye on the New Hampshire coastline around low tide, along with some additionally useful information.
What causes tidal change?
The rise and lowering of the tide primarily depends on gravitational forces between the Earth, moon, and sun. In greater detail, these are connected to influencing factors of latitude/location, season, day length, and weather (Reddy, 2002).
What is a tidal pool?
A tidal pool is simply a rocky area containing sea water in close proximity to the ocean. They exist at intertidal zones. At high tide, the rocky area may be completely covered by ocean. At low tide, the crevices of the area maintain "mini-oceans" in tidal pools. These tidal pools are usually exploding with all sorts of marine life.
The schematic to the right is what a typical rocky shore in the North Atlantic would be zoned as (photo credit - Marine Educational Society of Australia).
Where, exactly, did you find these?
All animals listed below were seen throughout the months of March - September in the following areas (photo credits - Google Maps):
A) Hampton Beach, Hampton, NH
B) Wallis Sands, Rye, NH
C) Fort Constitution, Newcastle, NH
D) Pierce Island, Portsmouth, NH
E) Great Bay, Durham, NH
F) Rye Beach, Rye, NH
The New Hampshire coastline is one of the nation's smallest. It spans a mere 22 miles from Portsmouth to Seabrook. The maps shown here are to give an idea of scale and location for New Hamsphire's coastline when compared to the rest of the nation.
Cancer irroratus (Atlantic Rock Crab)
Palaemon elegans (Rockpool Prawn)
Pagurus pollicaris (Atlantic Hermit Crab)
Carcinus maenas (European Green Crab)
Bolinopsis infundibulum (Common Northern Comb Jelly)
Homarus americanus (American Lobster)
Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis (Green Sea Urchin)
Limulus polyphemus (Atlantic Horseshoe Crab)
Mytilus edulis (Common Blue Mussel)
Semibalanus balanoides (Acorn Barnacle)
Urticina felina (Red/Dahlia Anemone)
Mercenaria mercenaria (Quahog/Hard Clam)
Littorina littorea (Common Periwinkle)
Crassostrea virginica (Eastern Oyster)
Crepidula fornicata (Common Slipper Shell)
If there's anything you've seen in a New Hampshire tidal pool that's not mentioned here, I very much encourage you to comment. I'm very interested to know what else may be out there!
Questions, comments, confusions?