Nighttime Tidepooling, December 2008

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Nighttime tidepooling at Richey Viewpoint (west coast of Alki, West Seattle) on the December low tide

TidepoolingTidepoolingTidepoolingTidepoolingTidepoolingTidepoolingStiletto Shrimp, Hepatocarpus stylusFish: Sculpin

Anemones: Painted anemone or Christmas anemone (Urticina grebelnyi)

Anemone: Painted anemone or Christmas anemone (Urticina grebelnyi)Anemone: Painted anemone or Christmas anemone (Urticina grebelnyi)Christmas anemone, Urticina grebelnyi, maybe a green anemone, (Anthopleura sp.) yellow encrusting sponge of some kind, and calcareous tubeworm tubesChristmas anemone (Urticina grebelnyi) with some eelgrass (Zostera marina)

Crabs: Hermit crab, Graceful Decorator Crab (Oregonia gracilis), Thickclaw Porcelain Crab (Pachycheles rudis), Northern Kelp Crab (Pugettia producta), Sharpnose Crab (Scyra acutifrons), rock crab,

Tanya with hermit crab in snail shellGraceful Decorator Crab (Oregonia gracilis) with red algae and yellow encrusting spongesCrab: Thickclaw Porcelain Crab (Pachycheles rudis)Porcelin Crab, and yellow spongePorcelin Crab, and yellow spongeCrabCrab: Graceful decorator crab (Oregonia gracilis), with red algae and yellow encrusting spongeCrab: Northern Kelp Crab (Pugettia producta)Crab: Sharpnose Crab (Scyra acutifrons)Crab: Sharpnose Crab (Scyra acutifrons)Crab in a Bucket: rock crabCrab

Starfish: Ochre star (Pisaster ochraceus), Mottled star (Evasterias troschlii)

Tanya says, "There's a lot of talk about why they have such color variation, from yellow to orange to purple to brown. The coloration seems to be due to carotenoids and xanthophylls, which no animals are known to make themselves. It is therefore most likely that the color pattern variation is due to algae in the diets of the animals they eat."

Starfish and Crab: Ochre star (Pisaster ochraceus) and rock crabStarfish: Ochre star (Pisaster ochraceus)Starfish: Ochre star (Pisaster ochraceus)Starfish: Ochre star (Pisaster ochraceus)Starfish: Ochre star (Pisaster ochraceus)Starfish: Mottled star (Evasterias troschlii)Blue Starfish: Mottled Star (Evasterias troschelii)Orange Starfish: Mottled star (Evasterias troschlii)

Sea cucumbers and worms: Red Sea Cucumber (Cucumaria miniata), Spaghetti Worm, and Scale Worm

The sea cucumber squirted when we picked it up. Tanya says, "Spaghetti worms are cool - the slight red bit between the pink body and white filaments on the right-hand worm is the gills, which are currently retracted, where they do their 'breathing' (gas exchange). The white filaments get extended when they're underwater, and grope around for fallen detritus, which they move to their mouths on a mucosy conveyer belt along the length of each tentacle. Why 'spaghetti'? When the tentacles are splayed out from underneath the tube, (like I'm used to seeing them), they look like a big SPLAT of spaghetti."

Red Sea Cucumber (Cucumaria miniata) - squirtingRed Sea Cucumber (Cucumaria miniata)Red Sea Cucumber (Cucumaria miniata)Red Sea Cucumber (Cucumaria miniata) and Spaghetti WormRed Sea Cucumber (Cucumaria miniata) and Spaghetti WormScale wormScale worm

Chitons: Gumboot Chiton, or Giant Pacific Chiton (Cryptochiton stelleri) — largest chiton in the world! — and Blue-Line Chiton (Tonicella undocaerulea), and Woody Chiton (Mopalia lignosa)

Gumboot Chiton, or Giant Pacific Chiton (Cryptochiton stelleri). Largest chiton in the world!Blue-Line Chiton (Tonicella undocaerulea)Blue-Line Chiton (Tonicella undocaerulea)Woody Chiton (Mopalia lignosa)

Nudibranchs: Frosted nudibranch or White-Lined Diona (Diona albolineata)

Nudibranch: Frosted nudibranch or White-Lined Diona (Diona albolineata)Nudibranch: Frosted nudibranch or White-Lined Diona (Diona albolineata)

Warming up afterwards in the van

Brooks - Anna - In the Van

Thanks so much Tanya for identifying all these creatures!!!