Beach Explorations:
A Curriculum for Grades 5-10

Color Key to Tidal Pool Organisms
Many tidal pool organism are camouflaged to blend in with their surroundings. Others are so brightly colored they seem unreal. Use water colors or colored pencils, and the color key below to create a realistic tidepool scene.

  1. Edible Blue Mussel - bluish black.
  2. Speckled Limpets - white shell speckled with brownish-black dots.
  3. Pink Tipped (or Aggregate) Anemone - green body with pink tipped tentacles.
  4. Rockweed - olive green or brownish green.
  5. Small Acorn Barnacles - dirty white.
  6. Red Rock Crab - a solid deep red or brownish-red, the pinchers tipped with black.
  7. Giant Green Anemone - solid bright green body and tentacles.
  8. Lined Chiton - a smooth shiny surface marked by brownish lines that zigzag across a field of gold, pink and lavender-blue or green.
  9. Purple or Ochre Star - bright purple, or brownish purple or brownish orange.
  10. Sea Lemon - bright yellow with speckles of back dots.
  11. Amphipod - dull green or gray-brown.
  12. Decorator Crab - light brownish body, attatches seaweeds to its back for camouflage.
  13. Tidepool Sculpin - white and green-black body with gray or green or pink highlights that blend with the surroundings. To some degree, able to change colors.
  14. High Cockscomb Blenny - olive green or dark brown with designs on the back.
  15. Orange Se Cucumber - reddish-orange or purplish brown, with bright orange or reddish tentacles.
  16. Broken-back Shrimp - though the body is generally transparent it will show a slight green, gray, brown, or reddish tinge to enable it to blend in with the background.
  17. Thatched Acorn Barnacle - dirty white.
  18. Hairy Hermit Crab - brownish body.
  19. Purple Shore Crab - reddish purple body, purple dots on claws.
  20. Red Sea Urchin - bright reddish-purple.
  21. Encrusting Sponge - dull green or yellowish-green.
  22. Sea Lettuce - bright green or yellowish-green.
  23. Sunflower Star - bright orange or pink with a grayish-blue or grayish-purple line running down each ray.
  24. Checkered Periwinkle - brownish black or bluish-black with white checkers.
Preview Pages


overview of each chapter
page 13, 14

sample lesson, tidal pools
page 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189

sample lesson, adaptations of surf-dwelling rocky shore animals,
page 222, 223, 224, 225

sample lesson, vertical zonation,
page 202, 203