Resources and links to our amazing natural world


This MONTH: JULY 2020


Tide pools occur in rockyshore locations where the ocean meets the land. A whole host of fascinating plants and animals survive in this rugged, changing seascape. As the ocean water retreats at low tide, marine life must withstand hours exposed to the air or in shallow pools. At high tide, animals and plants must survive waves rolling in or crashing down. Pictured below are two invertebrates most commonly spotted in tide pool habitats, green anemones and purple urchins.

The adult giant green anemone attaches to a substrate and rarely moves. Although its gets some of its green color through natural pigmentation, much of its color is gained from the symbiotic relationship it has with the microalgae and dinoflagellates that live in its tissues. These unicellular organisms are photosynthetic, providing the giant green anemone with beneficial nutrients as well as pigmentation. 

A purple sea urchin's pincushion appearance comes from its round inner shell, called a "test." The radially symmetrical  test is covered with pincer, tube feet and purple spines that move on ball-and-socket joints. The spines spear food and protect an urchin from predators. Tiny hairs (cilia) covering the spines create a water current that carries food to the urchin and washes away wastes. 



Videos from the VC

Octopus Play Date

(near right) In case you missed feeding time this morning (5/28), our current octopus put on a show. Check out her silly antics as she plays with her toys.

Volunteer Appreciation Week!

(far right) Thank you Hatfield Marine Science Center Visitor Center, volunteers. We look forward to seeing you again soon! Until then stay safe and know that you are appreciated. 


Past Features:

  • July 3, 2020: July volunteer newsletter
  • June 4, 2020: June volunteer newsletter
  • May 11, 2020: May Volunteer newsletter Here 
  • April 20, 2020: Volunteer Appreciation Week video
  • April 20, 2020: Octopus Paints video. Our latest octopus resident is getting quality painting time these days. The easel sits directly on the side of the octopus exhibit. Attached to the easel is a series of pulleys, paint brushes, and a Mr. Potato Head! The aquarist places tasty food for the octopus into the Mr. Potato Head which sits in the water. The octopus then “plays” with the Mr. Potato Head and creates a push and pull action which forces the pulley system to move the paint brushes up and down and from side to side.
  • April 17, 2020: Here is an awesome resource available through the International Audubon Society with over fifty videos, birding tips, educational activities and more! (Thanks for sharing Nancy E.)