Tide Pools in Winter

Thursday, February 15, 2018 by Catherine Griset

Tide Pools in Winter

 Lately we’ve been talking about Sea Level Rise in LabVenture!, and how it will affect important coastal habitats. One of the coastal habitats that we have a lot of here in Maine is the rocky intertidal zone. This is where we find tide pools, the rocky area between the high and low-tide lines. Tide pools are usually home to countless cool creatures worth bending down to check out. Seastars, urchins, mussels, periwinkles, crabs live in the intertidal zone. Looking for these and other species can be really fun when visiting a rocky beach. But what happens to these animals in the winter??

The tides rule the intertidal zone, and species that live in this area are well adapted to dealing with the changes they bring. When a high tide covers the pools, the animals living there are typically more protected from the cold. Salt water has to be pretty cold to freeze, so the animals that can move will stay below the tideline for more of the day. But here in Maine it can get cold enough that creatures left on shore may freeze.

Have you ever gone tide pooling in the winter? What differences did you notice from summer tide pooling you may have done?

Tide Pools in Winter


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