Ecology of a Rocky Shore
Zones of Life along a Rocky Shore
• Why are some animals and plants located
in special zones and not all over?
Adaptations for life on a high energy rocky
• High energy waves
• Low tide exposure
Animals on a typical New England rocky
• Asian Shore Crab
• Periwinkle snails
• Blue Mussels
• Purple Sea Urchin
• Rock Barnacles
• Common Sea Star
Algae on a typical New England rocky shore
Knotted Wrack
Adaptations to life on a rocky shore line
Adapting to Wave Shock
• Barnacles
• Cements shell
to rock
• Snails
• Use a suction
cup like foot
Adaptations to Wave Shock
• Sea Stars
and Urchins
Tube feet
with suction
cup ends
Adaptations to Wave Shock
• Blue Mussels
• Byssel Threads ( strong cables)
Adaptations to Wave Shock
• Crabs and Lobsters
• Wedge into rock spaces
• Hide under rocks
Adaptations to Wave Shock
• Sea Weeds (macroalgae)
• Hold fasts attach to rocks
Rocky shore animal feeding adaptations
• Barnacles
• Filter food with
feathery legs (filter
Scrape food with a
radula - tongue with
teeth (grazers and
Sea stars
Use tube feet and
Reproduction adaptations
• Barnacles are hermaphrodites
• Each barnacle has both male and female
reproductive organs
Marine snails mate and deposit egg cases
Sea stars and Urchins broad cast eggs and
sperm into the water
Marine Arthropods like crabs and lobsters mate.
Female attracts male using pheromones.
After the female molts and mates with the male,
eggs will later be deposited on underside of her
abdomen and carried until they hatch.
• Lobster with eggs
• Green crab with

Ecology of a Rocky Shore Community