pools are holes in rocks that stay filled with
water once the tide goes out. Some tide pools
are below low-tide line and are covered in ocean
water most of the time. Some tide pools are above
low-tide line. These rocks are normally dry and
exposed to air for about 10 hours a day. They
are wetted only by sea spray and occasional waves.
Tide pools are homes to many different types of
animals and plants. Animals and plants that live
in tide pools must be able to withstand and adapt
to extreme fluctuations in conditions from the
forceful waves that roll in. They must also be
able to endure high temperatures beating on the
communities are found in the warm, clear, and
deep waters near Planet Vesta’s Central
Girth. A reef is a coral community consisting
of several thousand organisms living together.
The water temperature is usually constant year
round. Corals are made up of animals called polyps.
Polyps are tube shaped with the central opening
forming a “mouth.” Polyps attach themselves
to the floor of the reef and the top ends of the
polyps extend into the water and move around freely.
There are two types of corals, soft and hard corals.
Hard corals have external skeletons made of calcium
carbonate while most soft corals do not. The mouths
of polyps on hard corals are surrounded by multiples
of six tentacles and those of soft corals are
surrounded by eight tentacles. Corals are animals
that also have plant life (algae) growing in them.
forest-like communities grow along rocky coastlines
in depths of 18 to 50 feet. A kelp forest is much
like a forest on the land. It is divided into
3 layers and different kinds of animal life are
found in each layer. Kelp forests “hold
on” to the rocky surfaces with root-like
structures called holdfasts. From these holdfasts,
long streamers of kelp grow up toward the surface.
Gas bladders at the end of each leaf keep the
plant upright and closer to the surface of the
water and sunlight. They depend on light for photosynthesis.