Exploring tide pools is a great family activity that doubles as an incredible way to introduce kids to marine biology! We spent the morning of the Fourth of July out at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. The tide was exceptionally low, so we got to see all sorts of exciting sea life! Here are a few of my favorites, and I shared some great books on tide pools at the end of this post!
In this photo, can you spot sea grass, some a giant green anemone, and some coral? What else do you see?
How about the big green crab camouflaged above? There were snails everywhere, and lots of hermit crabs as well.
The tiny fish in this pool is called a Sculpin. They like to stay along the bottom of water bodies.
I was surprised to find a small eel, so I messaged my marine biology friend to make sure I was seeing what I thought I was seeing! She wrote back that it might be a Monkeyface-eel – a baby as it is very small. Do you see the spots on its back? I was fascinated to learn that these eels can breathe air, and therefore can live at least 35 hours out of water, provided they are in a moist environment.
This crab is really well camouflaged! Can you find it? Staying still and watching a single tide pool is a great way to see animals that you would have missed otherwise.
You aren’t allowed to remove anything from the Fitgerald Marine Reserve. This protects marine life and vegetation and keeps the reserve looking the way it should look naturally. It also means that you can find incredible collections of beautiful rocks and shells to admire – and you can take stunning photographs to keep forever!
Have you gone tide pool exploring with your kids? This was our first time, but we will definitely go again!
Books About Tide Pools
Here are some great books about tide pools that you can read no matter where you live! This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.
- In One Tidepool: Crabs, Snails, and Salty Tails
- Fylling’s Illustrated Guide to Pacific Coast Tide Pools
- DK Eyewitness Books: Seashore
- Tide Pool: Look Inside
- DK Eyewitness Explorers: Shells
- Between the Tides
Do you know of a book that I should add to my list?