On the Rocks: Now and Then

It’s the setting, height, and shape that make the rock below an intertidal superstar. This surf zone heavy-hitter sits in an intertidal sweet spot where accessibility and rarely exposed lower reaches find the optimal balance. It’s a leviathan tall enough to support all the intertidal zones, and its steep broad faces impart visibility to the…

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Comparative Photos Show Rocky Intertidal Changes Between 2013 and 2016

With the last bout of sea star wasting syndrome eastern Pacific starfish took a big hit. I describe the progression at this intertidal site in A Peek at Pisaster After Two Years of Sea Star Wasting Syndrome. After three years their numbers are still down. Removal experiments have shown we can expect changes in rocky…

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I’m Going to Eat You! Said the Seastar to the Barnacle

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Close Up.” This photo already appeared on theoutershores in Quick, What’s This Worm? with the caption you see above. At the time, I thought it was fine, but Jarm hit a home run with, “I’m going to eat you!” said the seastar to barnacle. What better…

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How Stable the Starfish?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Finite Creatures.” This post is the Day 11 assignment for my Blogging 101 class. For decades we have known that starfish, like Pisaster ochraceus, are potent predators that play a big role, directly or indirectly, in maintaining the familiar communities of plants and animals in the intertidal…

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A Peek at Pisaster After Two Years of Sea Star Wasting Syndrome

It’s a good time to check in on the rocky intertidal. All along the west coast sea star wasting syndrome has, to varying degrees, reduced Pisaster ochraceus, a potent predator and organizing force in rocky intertidal communities. Generations of intertidal ecologists, students, fisherpeople and other harvesters, tide poolers, and beachcombers have grown to count on…

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Sea Stars and Sand Dollars

The low tides, especially those below mean lower low water (0.0′), afford an opportunity to observe Pisaster ochraceus, wherever rocky outcrops jut from the sand. On the exposed coast, P. ochraceus need to stay attached to rocks. They are slow-movers but they get around, maneuvering up and down on their rock as the tides rise and fall. I…

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