I was informed that the tide was very very low and we should find lots of good things and indeed that was the case. I friends and guides were even impressed with what we found. The first thing that was pointed out to me was the Aggregating Anemone (Anthopleura elegantissima) and it was a good thing she pointed to them because I would have thought they were just clumps of sand. During low time, they cover their tentacles with small bits of shell material and retreat to keep from drying out.
Aggregating Anemone (Anthopleura elegantissima)
We found three other anemones; at least I think they were all different. One was a Giant Green Anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica) at least I hope that was what it was. The green color is really microscopic sized algae that live in the tissues of the anemone. In a mutual relationship the algae produces oxygen and the anemone produces carbon dioxide used by the algae.
The third one looks very similar to the Giant green but it has some red and the tentacles don’t look as long. I think it is a Stubby Rose Anemone (Urticina coriacea). Please if anyone really knows what these anemone are please let me know, I would appreciate it. This woman from hills of West Virginia is really out of here element and I would love to learn.
Two natures nerds exploring and having fun.
This one below was one we were unsure of. It seemed to be too small for a Sunflower Star (Pycnopodia helianthoides) but it had the correct shape and it looked ever so delicate.
As we were leaving I found a Knobby Sea Star (Pisaster giganteus). The other common name might be Giant Spined Sea Star, I had conflicting resources.
Here is a group of Purple Dwarf Olive (Plivella biblicata) mixed in with some Black Turban Snails (Tegula funebralis) and a couple others that I haven’t indentified.
I found this Leaf Barnacle (Pollicipes polymerus) very interesting. It reminded me of a dog stink horn fungus.
These little Sand Castle Worms (Phragmatopoma californica) were easy to over look and I am thankful they were pointed out to me. There must have been hundreds of them packed in together forming this honey-combed complex. They glue the sand grains together with their mucus.
I only made note of two chitons both very different from one another. The small one was a Lined Chiton (Tonicella lineate) you can see below.
The other one was a Gumboot Chiton (Cryptochiton stelleri) noted to be the largest chiton in the world. It is a brick-red color and about 13 inches long. Here is one that we picked up and you can see how large this one is.