Exploring for Sea Creatures!

– I’m Coyote Peterson. This is Aron Sanchez, and today we’re heading out into the tide pools
of Northern California to see what sort of
creatures we can find. (tribal music) The California coastline
is an epic sight for any set of eyes, and I’ve always been fascinated by the rising and
falling of the tide. And in the Half Moon Bay area, if you know exactly
where to be at low tide, you stand the chance of finding some very interesting creatures. I’m pretty good at coming
across animals on my own, but today I’ll be
following the lead of a true tide pool expert. Aron Sanchez is a
man of adventure, and since childhood, he has had a fascination with the ocean,
and a love for its animals. Over the past decade, he
has spent countless hours exploring intertidal pools,
where he has encountered and photographed
some sea creatures that seem as if they
belong on another planet. How does this work, do we
just go out there in the water and try to scoop things
up into the bucket? – Well sometimes
you will get lucky. We’ll walk around here,
chances are we will see some organisms
just kinda hangin out, because it is low tide, but
what we really wanna do, is go to areas where animals
have hidden underneath rocks. When the low tide is out,
these animals are trapped. They wait here, when
the tide comes back in they swim off and continue
on with their lives. – Awesome well let’s head out
there into the tide pools, and see what we can find.
– (Aron) Let’s do it. – (Coyote) After less than
five minutes of searching, Aron came upon the
first find of the day. – Hey Coyote.
– (Coyote) Yeah? – (Aron) Come check this out!
– What ya got? – Take a look. – Oh wow, I know what that is! That is a starfish, right? – (Aron) Starfish
is pretty common, but the correct
terminology is sea star. – (Coyote) Really that’s
crazy, I bet most people don’t know that. Every book I’ve ever
seen calls them starfish. – (Aron) That’s
pretty common, yeah. – Alright now can we
just pick this up? – We can, he’s just kind of
walkin along the surface here, so he’s fine. – He’s movin extra
slow, isn’t he? – (Aron) Yeah. This is a Leather Star, and the reason it’s
called a Leather Star, is because it feels
actually like wet leather. – Wow, really does.
Feels like a boot. – It’s pretty unique. – Doesn’t smell like anything, maybe a little bit
like the ocean. I flip over on this side, look
at that, yeah I can feel, wow all those little feet
are really sticky! – (Aron) These are
actually called tube feet, and this is how the
sea star gets around. – Alright, well, it’s
a pretty good start. Let’s put him back in
the water and see if we can find somethin
a little crazier. – (Aron) Sounds good. – (Coyote) The Leather Sea
star was pretty incredible, but what we were really
after is what Aron considers the holy grail of
tide pool creatures, the elusive red octopus. I love a good challenge,
so our search began. Ok so Aron’s walked up a ways
there looking for creatures, and I just gotta show you guys, what it is that we’re
walking through. Look at this, this is all kelp,
and it smells, ugh, awful! But it feels really cool
when you walk on it, almost feels like moon walking. How squishy and bouncy it
is, it all feels like rubber, and it absolutely stinks. Alright, well I’m
gonna catch up to him and see if we can find
some more cool creatures. The tide pools were alive
with all kinds of interesting, and alien looking animals. We found sea anemones, which
might look like a plant, but are in fact an animal,
related to coral and jellyfish. That feels so cool! All those little
tentacles are so sticky. A nereid worm, which
is the ocean’s version of living nightmare, and
this one was just a baby, but they can grow to be
nearly two feet in length. Um, no thanks. Then there were the
crabs, tons of crabs. Including the purple shore
crab, stripped shore crab, and one big Pacific rock crab. Trust me, you don’t
wanna find your fingers in those pincers. Several hours of
searching had passed, with no sign of an octopus, but all was not lost, when
suddenly we came across another gem of the tide pools. Aron I think the
toughest part about this, is all the terrain,
it’s so slippery. – You gotta watch your footing. – Yeah, alright, you
wanna flip this one? – (Aron) See what we got. – (Coyote) More
crabs I’m guessin. Oh, look at that, that’s an eel! – (Aron) A lot of
people think so, but these are in fact a
fish called a prickleback. They won’t bite, they’re
actually vegetarians. They mostly feed on seaweed. – (Coyote) Alright, let’s
get them into the bucket, so we can try to
get a closer look. Now you say I can just
pick these up right? – That’s right, Coyote one
thing people might not know, is that pricklebacks can
actually breathe air. – Really, so they can
be out of the water? – They can. – Alright so if I take one
out of here and just hold it, it’s gonna be fine? – (Aron) He might be a
little slippery, but yeah. – Alright let’s
give that a shot, get one of these outta here. Alright, I’m goin for
the big one, here we go. Come here big guy. Let’s move slow. Wow, that is one bizarre
looking little creature. It looks like a mix between
an eel and a mudskipper. I can see why people would
think that these are eels. I mean I saw it squirmmin around and I was like, it’s an eel! But that’s so cool,
this is actually a fish. I can see his lil
prickleback stickin up there. I’m gonna touch that, and
see if it’s actually spikey. Oh yeah! I can feel that. And so that’s pretty commonplace
to just flip over a rock, and the low tide like this
and find (inaudible) there. – At low tide it is, these
guys are waiting for the tide to come back in so they’re just
gonna be under these rocks. – Ok now this one to me
looks pretty good size but this is not
an adult you said. – No these guys can actually get to about two and a half feet. – Wow, that would be cool,
and what are the odds of finding one
that’s two feet here underneath the rocks
in the tide pool? – Usually not so likely, the bigger guys are
gonna be out at sea. – (Coyote) After admiring
these bizarre looking fish, it was time to release
them back into the ocean. Alright here we go, gettin
the pricklebacks back into the ocean, oh,
with the tide comin in. Alright guys, see ya later! Ah, there they go! Whew, wow that was awesome. Aron, thank you so much
for having us out here to explore the intertidal pools. We saw so many creatures,
sea anemones, sea stars, lots of crabs, and of
course the prickleback fish. The one thing we didn’t come
across was the red octopus. Which means we’re gonna
need to head back out to California soon to
visit our friend Aron, to see if we can find one. I’m Coyote Peterson,
be brave, stay wild! We’ll see ya on
the next adventure. To check out some of
Aron’s amazing work, make sure to follow his
Instagram account @WATERBOD or visit his website
WATERBODYMEDIA.COM. And if you thought the
creatures of the tide pool were bizarre, make sure
to check out my encounter with the whip scorpion,
and don’t forget subscribe to join me and the crew on
this season of Breaking Trail. (tiger growl)
(bird call)

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