The Crowded Rocky Intertidal Bursting with Life

Surf swept rocky northeastern Pacific shores host marvelous biological diversity and abundance. A good place to witness the profusion is up close, on the dead level with a barnacle.

Surrounded by neighbors, a giant barnacle, Balanus nubilus, entertains tenants of its own.


Stepping back, viewing the world from the lowermost horizon of the mussel bed (with the rocky intertidal’s renowned zones arcing off to the right), the impression of remarkable diversity and abundance is strong. By any measure, this scene is bursting with life.

Not put off a by the crowd, a starfish, Pisaster ochraceus, nestles among other occupants at the base of the bed.

Pick a Word…