Salt Creek, Washington

As we look at several coastal biomes, let's make a quick stop in Washington state at a rocky intertidal region. These areas are home to the classic tide pools and many of the animals you see in aquarium petting tanks. These rocky areas are filled with different species of algae, anemone, small fish, and crustaceans. When the tide goes out, the small pools left in the rocks are even home to many baby fish.

Rocky intertidal regions are actually made up of distinct levels. The panorama even shows off the horizontal banding along the shore walls. When you think about it, it makes sense. There are the highest areas called the splash zone. The splash zone is never completely underwater, but is usually wet because of the wave action spraying the area. As you move down, you will find the high-tide zones that are only underwater during extreme high tides. The low-tide zones are underwater most of the time and only exposed during extreme low tides during spring. The species you discover in each zone are specifically developed to live in their regions and rarely move from one to another.

Image Credit: Andrew Rader Studios

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