Intertidal rocky shores

Oak Chiton (Onithochiton quercinus) Oak Chiton (Onithochiton quercinus), Wild Guide to Moreton Bay Pyramid Periwinkle (Nodilittorina pyramidalis) Pyramid Periwinkle (Nodilittorina pyramidalis), Wild Guide to Moreton BayRocky shores are constantly hammered by waves and tidal surges, and sequentially flooded by tides and exposed to the air. Living in this environment presents unique challenges to the animals and plants on rock platforms where there are very few places for creatures to burrow for protection. Some, like oysters and barnacles, cement or glue themselves to the rocks. Others, like limpets and chitons have a muscular foot to hold themselves down; and some, like sea urchins, lock themselves into crevices using their spines. Many species are flattened so they have little resistance to the waves. Conversely, kelp and other larger algae have long fronds but are strongly cemented at their base, so that they ‘flop’ with the surge instead of trying resisting it.

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