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Know Our Marine Habitats

 

Rocky Shores

 

Marine life is abundant on rocky shores, which provide good refuge for numerous life forms such as frog shells, chitons, limpets, whelks and periwinkles, oysters, barnacles, cowries, crabs, starfishes, sea urchins, gorgonids, and a variety of algae and sea weeds. Low tide is a good opportunity to search for these creatures in shallow rock pools, since most of them come out for feeding during low tide. Distinct communities based on species interaction exist on rocky shores, e.g. barnacle & rock shells community, oyster & barnacle community, etc.

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Rocks encrusted with Oysters                                               Rocks encrusted with Barnacles

Rock pools with an abundant algal growth of Caulerpa, Ulva, Codium, Sergassum, Hypnaea, Gracilaria and Dictyota are home to many life forms. Shallow rock pools are also home to some common winter migrants such as sea hares. Exposed rock pools provide good refuge to several species with terrestrial affinity such as periwinkle and nerita shells and crabs.

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Aplysia or Sea Hare can be seen abundantly in the algae covered rock pools

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 Periwinkle Echinilitorina malaccana seen abundantly on exposed rocks during low tides

Rocky shores covered by silt are preferred by murex shells at places like Okha in Gujarat. The rock pools dominated by green and red algae at Veraval and Chorwad are home to drupe shells and mussels. Oyster and barnacle infested rocks dominate Maharashtra coasts. Edible oysters also occur on rocky shores. Species composition on rocky shores varies significantly between high and low tide zones. Loose rocks are ideal places to search for shade loving, nocturnal and cryptic fauna. A number of Opisthobranchs can be found taking shelter on the bottom of loose rocks within inter-tidal areas.

Rock crevices are ideal shelter areas for nocurnal species like crabs, shrimps and sea anemones.

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Sea anemones prefer sheltered areas of rock pools

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Rock crevices are used by nocturna species like crabs and shrimps

Visit your nearest sea shore and explore the marine life of rocky shore!!

It's a fascinating experience!!



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