A juvenile Octopus doeflini found foraging in the intertidal by one of my Oceanography class students
This is the third year in a row that I've offered a special night-time tide-pooling field trip to the students from my Peninsula College Introduction to Oceanography class. We had a great trip last night to Freshwater Bay, slipping it in between rain squalls. The wonderful thing about the winter night-time low tides is that you can see so much more, since organisms are not stressed by high temperatures and/or dessication. I was struck by two things:
1) Octopi! We saw two...the juvenile in the video above, which was out and about in the lower intertidal, and this one sheltering under a boulder:
2) The number and diversity of juveniles invertebrates and eggs that we observed. For this time of year it struck me as pretty out there. We say juvenile Hexactis, sharp-nosed crab, mollusc eggs of some kind, and this (dead) female Red Rock crab carrying an egg mass:
A few other images from the night:
The gunnels were plentiful...but I'm horrible at ID in the Pholidae family, so I'm not even going to try...
One of at least three Keyhole Limpets (Diadora aspera) we saw - all of them out in places they would never be in the summer during a low-tide. On this one we also were able to observe the commensal scale worm Arctonoe vittata
My favorite! The Northern Clingfish (Gobiesox maeandricus). Check out this interesting (and mildly disturbing) piece on its unique abilities.
and last, but not least, a great profusion of porcelain crabs (Petrolisthes sp.)