What type of animals live in the Intertidal Zone?

The intertidal area (also called the littoral zone) is where the land and sea meet, between the high and low tide zones. Within the intertidal zone there are the spray zones, and low, middle, and high tide zones, and each is characterised by different animals.

* Spray Zone: Also called the Upper Littoral, the Supralittoral Fringe, the Splash Zone, and the Barnacle Belt. This area is dry much of the time, but is sprayed with salt water during high tides. It is only flooded during storms and extremely high tides. Organisms in this sparse habitat include barnacles, isopods, lichens, lice, limpets, periwinkles, and whelks. Very little vegetation grows in this area.

* High Tide Zone: Also called the Upper Mid-littoral Zone and the high intertidal zone. This area is flooded only during high tide. Organisms in this area include anemones, barnacles, brittle stars, chitons, crabs, green algae, isopods, limpets, mussels, sea stars, sea anemones, snails, whelks and some marine vegetation.

* Middle Tide Zone: Also called the Lower Mid-littoral Zone. This turbulent area is covered and uncovered twice a day with salt water from the tides. Organisms in this area include anemones, barnacles, chitons, crabs, green algae, isopods, limpets, mussels, sea lettuce, sea palms, sea stars, snails, sponges, and whelks.

* Low Tide Zone: Also called the Lower Littoral Zone. This area is usually under water - it is only exposed when the tide is unusually low. Organisms in this zone are not well adapted to long periods of dryness or to extreme temperatures. Some of the organisms in this area are abalone, anemones, brown seaweed, chitons, crabs, green algae, hydroids, isopods, limpets, mussels, nudibranchs, sculpin, sea cucumber, sea lettuce, sea palms, sea stars, sea urchins, shrimp, snails, sponges, surf grass, tube worms, and whelks.