- At high tide the seashore is covered with seawater.
- At high tide seashore animals move around in search of food.
- At high tide seashore animals must protect themselves from predators.
The children will be able to 1) describe seashore animals at high tide, 2) identify conditions at high tide and at low tide, 3) describe feeding behaviour at high tide.
Transparency "Dock Piling at High Tide"
The Table is Set All Year Long
Coastal waters produce a rich harvest of food year-round. In spring and summer, the main crops are microscopic plants called phytoplankton, and luxuriant growths of seaweeds. They thrive in the shallow, sun-warmed waters providing food for countless diners.
Marsh grasses and seaweeds grow in spring and summer, too, but only a small portion is eaten directly. Most grasses and seaweeds die in the fall, decay, and become the food of many coastal animals through winter until the plant plankton and seaweeds bloom again in the spring.
At High Tide, The Table is Set
At low tide, or when out of seawater, most inter-tidal animals hide in their shells, among moist seaweeds, under rocks and in crevices or in tidal pools. Without water, there's no food to eat and no shield from the sun. But when the tide returns and covers the plants and animals, the feast is on!
Filter feeders such as clams, mussels, and barnacles strain tiny plankton from the water and scavengers such as crabs and beach hoppers eat decaying matter washed up on shore. Herbivores such as periwinkles, limpets, and chitons graze, like cows, on the thin film of green algae that covers the rocks. Carnivores, of course, dine on their fellow animals.