Coke Smith Photography & Travelogue

Marine Intertidal Community of the Olympic Peninsula

  Gooseneck Barnacles on Tongue Point.


Along the same lines as the plant communities, the marine intertidal communities found on the coasts of the Olympic Peninsula are also very diverse.  The Olympic Peninsula is blessed with some of the most impressive assemblages of intertidal organisms anywhere on the Pacific coast of North America.  There are several locations that are great for viewing the tide pools and their species, and the images on this page show many of the critters one can find here.


Log on to our Marine Invertebrate Gallery to see images of our impressive marine intertidal species!





The tide pools of Salt Creek's Tongue Point are some of the best examples of the marine intertidal communities on the west coast.  Zonation patterns are easy to see here. 




A typical day tide-pooling at Tongue Point during the epic minus tides can produce species lists in excess of 50-60 species in a single outing! Teaching Marine Biology on the OP is a pleasure.



On the west-end beaches, the surf is a bit more intense and the composition and distribution of the species differs from the intertidal communities in the Strait of Juan de Fuca where there is more protection from wave action.  Here are some aggregating Green Sea Anemones (Anthopleura elegantissima) tightly situated in a crack in the sandstone on Beach Four.

Here are more images of some of the many critters found in our intertidal communities! 


The White or Frosted Nudibranch (Dirona albolineata) commonly found in Port Angeles Harbor.


The White or Frosted Nudibranch (Dirona albolineata)


Cooper’s Dorid (Aldisa sanguinea)


Shag-Rug Nudibranch (Aeolidia papillosa)


 Monterey Sea Lemon (Doris montereyensis)


Mossy Chiton (Mopalia muscosa)


Black Leather Chiton (Katharina tunicata)


Black Leather Chiton (Katharina tunicata)


Various Shield Limpets


Stimpson's Sun Star (Solaster stimpsoni)


Stimpson's Sun Star (Solaster stimpsoni)


Puppet Margarite (Margarites pupillus)


Red Sea Urchin (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus)


Purple Sea Urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus)


Tube feet of an Ochraceous Sea Star adhering to its dinner!


Sunflower Star (Pycnopodia helianthoides)


Rainbow Sea Star (Orthasterias koehleri)


Blood Star (Henricia leviuscula)


Ochre Sea Star (Pisaster ochraceus)


Orange Sea Cucumber (Cucumaria miniata)


Green Sea Anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica)


Aggregating Sea Anemone (Anthopleura elegantissima)


Shore Crab (Pachygrapsus species)


Granular Claw Crab (Oedignathus inermis)


Common Acorn Barnacles (Balanus glandula)


Vancouver Feather Duster Worm (Eudistylia vancouveri)


Gooseneck Barnacle (Pollicipes polymerus)




Click here to visit our Olympic Peninsula image galleries!