Florida Sea Grant Extension in Collier County

Welcome to the Collier County Sea Grant Extension Blog

This blog is an opportunity for me to share with you my extension outreach efforts and useful information to make you a more informed coastal citizen. If you have any questions about what you see, feel free to contact me at fluech@ufl.edu.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Exploring the flats at low tide

Seagrass and mudflat communities at low tide are an excellent opportunity for curious onlookers to explore and see up close the myriad of coastal life these dynamic environments can support. In particular, these environments harbor a high diversity of invertebrates (animals lacking backbones) from egg sack-producing  worms to predatory snails hunting in the mud for a snack. For those who aren't afraid to get a little wet and muddy, they won't be disappointed at what they can find. I thought I'd "wet" your appetite by starting you off with a quiz of some of the invertebrates you might discover in these communities. Good luck! (I've provided you with some clues to help name them.) Answers are on the bottom.

1. Hint: this is nether an equine's support apparatus nor a true crustacean as the name implies.

2. Hint: Perhaps not a pretty as the flower that shares its name, but cool nonetheless.

3. Hint: check out its royal head gear.
4. Hint: No spinning webs for this crustacean.

5. Hint: Don't let the electrifying streaks in the sky prevent you from naming this one.

6. Hint: Count the arms to help you with its name.

7. Hint. Think "fragile celestial body"

8. Hint: The mollusk has within its name, another word for swine.

  1. Horseshoe Crab
  2. True Tulip Snail
  3. Crown Conch
  4. Spider Crab
  5. Lightning whelk
  6. 9-armed sea star
  7. Banded Brittle Star
  8. Quahog Clam

If you would like to learn more about these animals  and  other marine life that inhabit Florida's coastal waters, consider taking the Florida Master Natural Program Coastal Module. Details and Schedules and can found at: http://www.masternaturalist.ifas.ufl.edu/

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