A small 5 pointed seastar with thin arms, on top of thin long blades of grass.

What’s in the Tidepools? – December 2022

Flat cylinders made up of horizontal segments cover a rock.

What’s In the Tidepools? – December 2022

(NPS Photo/D. Orr)

Welcome back to the tidepool season at Cabrillo National Monument. Here is a sampling of what our volunteers observed during this month. Remember to send in your photos; we truly appreciate sharing them with everyone.

You can find videos on the Tidepool Videos page.

TPERP Mary photographed some raccoon tracks found in wet sand/rocks. The Point Loma Peninsula is home to a number of mammals, including cottontails, squirrels, and multiple species of bats. Raccoons forage in both terrestrial and intertidal habitats.

Zebra perches are fish native to California and are easily distinguishable by their black vertical bands. The majority of their diet consists of algae and plant-based matter.

TPERP Cathy photographed this brooding anemone surrounded by smaller specimens near the base. They are sometimes seen without the tentacles open attached to pieces of kelp.

Circular orange disk with hairs and small spheres around the edges.
NPS Photo/C. Spence

Keyhole limpets can grow to be very large and generally take on different colors such as the brown and white shown here, or the black color as well. They are close relatives of the abalone, which are infrequently spotted in the tidepools.

TPERP Cathy also captured these photos at sunset.

A baby two-spot octopus was observed by TPERP Cathy. Most of the time, the octopus is a brown or grey mottled color. However, they can control their skin’s color and texture through chromatophores that help them camouflage into their surroundings.

Gray octopus hiding between rocks
NPS Photo/C. Spence – Baby Octopus

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