The intertidal zone is home to many animals that hide here when the tide goes out, both to look for food in rock crevices and to find safety from predators. Rockweed and bladderwrack seaweed often cover the rocks, helping wet animals stay wet as well as hide from predators.
Covering the rocks you may find periwinkles, and if you turn some over, you can find many types of small crabs. Near or just beneath the water line, you might see sea stars hiding among the rocks.To learn more about exploring the intertidal zone, and other creatures you may find there, watch this Intertidal Exploration with Maine Outdoor School.
Look for evidence
You may find many empty shells in the intertidal zone—these shells once held live mollusks that were probably eaten by animals like sea stars or seagulls. Empty crab shells may come from crabs that were eaten by seagulls, or crabs that molted (shed) their shell when they grew too large for it.
Why is it important to protect the intertidal zone?
There is an incredible diversity of life in the intertidal zone and the creatures that live here are specially adapted for this environment. The often-rocky intertidal zone, with seaweed anchored to it, also helps protect our coastlines from erosion during storms.