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Touchpool-cam

What can you see in the touch pool today?

Is there anything new in the touch pool? How many different types of animals and plants can you see? Can you spot a crab scurrying around, or maybe peeping out of a shell? How many sea stars are there?

Touchpool-cam

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Discussion topics

What can you see?

The animals and plants in the touch pool will vary as our Aquarists change the display at regular intervals. Take a careful look at the first picture below (click on it to see and download a larger image).  What can you see?   Make a list!

Touchpool-photo

Now check your list against the labelled image below.  Did you find everything? 

Touchpool-labels

The intertidal zone

The touch pool is like a rock pool that you would find at low tide.  Take a long look and you will see all kinds of weird and wonderful marine animals.  Soft bodies or hard shells; lots of legs or none at all; wriggling things; crawling things; creatures that stick to rocks and creatures that swim around.

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Growth

Is that a dead crab in the touch pool?   Perhaps it is a moult!  As they grow larger crabs and crayfish shed their exoskeletons.  Their new body is soft but soon hardens to give them protection.

Survival

Crashing waves, scorching sunshine and deluges of rain are just a few of the challenges that the animals and plants in the rock pool must deal with.  Finding food and avoiding predators are also key to their survival.

Feeding and food webs

In the touch pool there are producers, filter feeders, grazers, predators and scavengers.  Can you identify plants and animals that would fit into those groups?  How do they catch and eat their food?  Draw a food web to show how the animals in the touch pool are connected.

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