- A tidal pool is a pool of water left on a rocky shore when the tide goes out.
- Tidal pools provide shelter for plants and animals that cannot stand exposure to drying out during low tide periods.
- Tidal pools contain populations of specialized plants and animals.
The students will be able to 1) observe a tidal pool, 2) draw a tidal pool, 3) identify organisms in a tidal pool, 4) describe the physical properties of a tidal pool, 5) count and record populations of organisms in a tidal pool, and 6) map a tidal pool.
A tidal pool is a small pool of water left on a rocky shore when the tide falls and provides shelter for plants and animals that cannot stand exposure to air during low tide periods. Some pools are so small, however, that they may be warmed by the sun and therefore may have a low dissolved oxygen content and salt content higher than that of the sea. Every tidepool contains a community of plants and animals; some are bottom dwellers, some attach themselves to the sides, others are free-swimming.
Life in a tidepool can be very difficult because of the isolation. The plant and animal life must be able to adapt itself to the ever-changing salinity, temperature, and oxygen content.
The tidepool offers protection from exposure during low tide, but has many drawbacks. As there is a limited area to escape predators that come down from the land (shorebirds, raccoons, snakes, etc.), the tidepool is a very good example of interaction between animals. Every tidal pool study is a good focus for teaching the techniques of science inquiry, and is fascinating forlive together in such a very small space.