An abalone sort of day

Green abalone Haliotis fulgens

There was a decent low tide on Sunday so we headed down to the coast to poke around in the intertidal.  Going to the north from the access stairs didn’t yield very much of interest except 3 abalone under a large rock.  Abalone were virtually eliminated from county by overfishing years ago so to see any is a rarity.  Well usually.  After finding about a dozen I decided they were no longer of interest for me that day.  Ultimately we found over 25.  I’m not sure why there were so many there and not in the other intertidal areas nearby.  The area to the south of the stairs had much better diversity and while we still were finding abalone we also found sponges, crabs, brittle stars, sea hares and an urchin to name just some of the critters.

Giant-spined sea star Heliaster giganteus

Giant-spined sea star Pisaster giganteus  Phylum Echinodermata, Class Asteroidea, Order Forcipulatida, Family Astriidae

Smooth brittle star Ophioplocus esmarki

Smooth brittle star Ophioplocus esmarki  Phylum Echinodermata, Class Ophiuroidea, Order Ophiurea, Family Ophioleptidae

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