Upon arrival at Lovells Island we were guided to a secluded tide pool ideal for investigation during low tide. The low tide had caused piles of seaweed to accumulate just out of reach of the lapping waves. I attempted to identify four of the varieties of seaweed I saw in the seaweed carpet.
Periwinkles were abundant in the tide pool. I think that they were either common periwinkles (Littorina littorea) or rough periwinkles (Littorina saxatilis), both of which are common on the rocky shores of the Atlantic coast. They were often in clusters on the rocks and when I picked them up and out of the water for a closer look, they would fall off and splash back into the tide pool. Perhaps they fall so easily as a defense mechanism. According to the New York Times article, periwinkles eat almost entirely algae. I noticed that there was a lot of algae on rock, they were very slippery. The periwinkle's shells were a dark brown and spiralled to a point at the top. They smallest periwinkle I observed was about half an inch long and the largest was about 2 inches long (length of the shell, not the soft body).
Other notable creatures I observed in the tide pools were Asian shore crabs which were very abundant and found under rocks. Asian shore crabs are an non-native species to the rocky shore of the Northeast but they have apparently created a thriving community. I also observed a school of small gray fish about 2 inches long darting through the tide pool, but I cant identify them because they were so fast.
Our afternoon on Lovells Island was spent searching for and observing land snails. We collected samples of empty shells and samples of living snails. We soon found out that the snails have an affinity for Sumac trees, as almost every living snail was found on a Sumac leaf. They were often found on the bottom of the leaves which I think might be a mechanism for protection, they are less visible to predatory birds on the underside of leaves. We were told that land snails generally move in two directions: down and up. The move down during or after recent rain, and up when it is dry. Accordingly, we found most of our snails up above head level as it was a dry day with no precipitation. We also noticed that as we lost elevation and the path began to slope down that we instantly we able to find more snails. The abundance of empty snail shells also grew as we moved down the hill.