IT’S ALIVE! Pac-Man of the Sea?

(tense music) – Oh my gosh. Guys, look at that. – [Mark] What’s that? – That’s a gumboot. (dramatic music) The cold, blue water of
the Salish Sea is unlike anything I have ever seen. It’s an intricate maze
of waterways scattered with various island chains. And beneath the surface,
a kingdom of animals that are seldom encountered. I’m gonna touch it, ready? However, if you find
yourself along its incredible stretch of shoreline,
or even better, on the edge of one
of its many islands, you stand the chance of
coming across intertidal marine animals. Today, the crew and I will
be venturing by way of boat to the uninhabited Doe Island. A satellite landmass
adjacent Orcas Island, it can be explored from
its northernmost point to its southernmost point
in under 30 minutes. While there are very few animals
living within the interior, at low tide, the
shoreline is peppered with bizarre sea creatures. So it was only a matter of
looking in the right places to find something we can
get in front of the cameras. Alright, it is just
us and the island. Wow, it’s a really cool
feeling to come onto a spot that is completely
uninhabited, free of humans, anything is possible. What we’re really after
today is the marine life that’s hiding in and
amongst these rocks. Now, it is low tide, as
you can see, all this kelp, and algae, and sea
grass is going to be extremely slippery, so
watch your ankles, guys, this is not the kind of
place you want to twist one, and end up hobbling
across this terrain. So let’s go up this direction. And hopefully come
across some cool animals. Alright, well here’s
something we didn’t expect. We got through all
this dense underbrush, and right in the middle
of the island is a trail. This should make traversing
it to the other side much simpler. Alright guys, look at this. The tide is all the
way back from here. That is perfect
tidepooling area. I see some pockets right
there filled with eel grass. I see some kelp down in there. This is gonna be perfect for
finding marine creatures. Alright, let’s go. That’s a big piece of driftwood. Whoa, this pocket’s
filled with little snails. Look at all those little guys. Oh, look at this.
– What you got? – I don’t know if you
can zoom in there. Look in that little crevice,
can you see back here? – [Cameraman] I got it,
yeah, I see something there. What is that? – That’s called a sea lemon. Now, I can see it’s got its
little sensory organs out. And see that little frilly
cluster in the back there? Right there? Those receptors help them sense
chemicals in the environment and that’s how these
creatures move about and study their environment. Alright, I’m gonna get it. Are you ready?
– Yep, go for it. – Okay, real slowly here,
you’re gonna be very gummy. Oh, come here, buddy. Alright, yep, tucked all in. There it is, that’s a sea lemon. Also known as a droid, and
it has very warty skin. Sometimes, you can find these
and they’re real bright yellow that’s why they’re
called sea lemons. They also have these very
distinct little black specklings all over their backs. – [Cameraman] Does it
smell like a lemon? – Good question. Nope, it smells like a slug. And they are related
to slugs and mollusks, and if I turn it up like
this, see the underside there? There’s its foot. Pretty cool, huh? – [Cameraman] Very
lemony looking. – Yeah, it’s like
a big gummy lemon. Look at that, just
like the warty sea cat, that we found in Costa
Rica, it just kind of turns into a glob when you
hold it in your hands. Alright you guys, ready
to put this sea lemon back under the log? – Let’s do it.
– Okay. Before we do, I got a quick
tongue-twister for you. Ready?
– Alright. – Not all lemons are sea
lemons, but all sea lemons live in the sea. Try saying that 10 times fast. – [Cameraman] Not all
sea lemons (stammering) Yep, can’t do it. – Yeah, not easy is it? Alright, here we
go, bye little guy. Right there, give it
a second to grab on. The sea lemon may not be the
most difficult animal to catch, however, finding one is
said to be good luck, as they are an indicator
species and signal a very healthy ecosystem. This gave me a strong
sense of confidence, because if the environment
is free of pollutants, that means more
creatures to find. What, nothing? I thought that one was gonna
yield something amazing. Alright, look at this one. This is kind of neat to note. Look, how all of the seaweed
is completely matted down and dried up in the sunlight. So, underneath this
is where an animal would potentially find
refuge from the sun once the tide has gone out. Come on lucky rock. Whoa.
– Whoa! – Geez, look at this. It is a huge prickleback. Wow, that is the biggest
one I’ve ever seen. And this, let me
look at its face. I believe this is
a rock prickleback, and I can tell that based on
the distinct striped marking right there on the
front of its head. Look at that, it’s huge. Now, you look at this
creature, and you’re probably thinking to yourself,
Coyote, that’s an eel, that’s not a fish. As a matter of fact, it is
a fish, it’s not a true eel at all despite the fact
it really looks like one. Now, it’s impossible
for me to completely keep this thing still. There we go, settle
down right there. Zoom in on the head
of this animal, Mark. You see those distinct stripes? – [Mark] I do. – That’s how I was
able to identify it as a rock prickleback. There’s several prickleback
species in this area, but this is the largest. And this may look
big to you and me, this is the biggest
one I ever caught, but they can grow to be
about three feet in length. – Oh man.
– Yeah. – [Mark] So, Coyote, is it
slimy or is it slippery, what’s it like? – Incredibly slimy and slippery. And here’s something really
cool about these pricklebacks. They can actually breathe air. They breathe underwater
with their gills. And when the tide goes
out, they can stay out of the water for several
hours breathing air. Now notice that ridge as
it runs along its back. That dorsal spine, that has
little tiny spikes on it, and I can feel that kind of
like the fins of a blue gill. And it’s not sharp enough
to necessarily prick me, but they use that to
help themselves balance when swimming underwater. – [Mark] So Coyote, these
fish, can they dry out? Because we found
them out of water. There’s no water
under these rocks. – Well, they can’t
dry completely out. So, if it was sitting
out on a rock in the sun, that would obviously kill it,. But underneath a rock,
even if there’s no water, they can secrete a
mucus from their skin that keeps them
wet and slippery. Now, I do keep dipping
it into the water. Here, watch this. I just kind of keep its
head cupped and dip it in. That allows it to
stay cool and moist. And I think at this point,
it’s probably safe to say we can release this prickleback
back off into the ocean. You ready?
– Good idea, let’s do it. There he goes. – Alright, let’s keep searching. With what seemed like an
endless supply of smaller rocks to carefully search beneath,
we also found ourselves maneuvering over and
around massive boulders that were exposed
by the low tide. And while these massive
rock structures would not be possible to overturn,
searching for animals under crevices was a
perfect place to look. A good shaded spot here. Look, this is still
wet and slippery. Oh, look at that right there. See that? That’s a chiton,
nope that’s a chiton. Looks like a barnacle
or part of the rock. That’s actually a mollusk. Hold on a second, I’m
gonna see if I can gently get it off here. They really suction onto rocks. – It’s coming off?
– Yeah, yeah, yeah. There we go. Whoa, look at the
underside of that thing. Looks just like the foot
of a slug, doesn’t it? – Not a barnacle?
– No, it’s not a barnacle. This is a mollusk, they’re
related to slugs and snails. Now, this is a small species,
I’m not sure which species. Look at the back there, you
see all these armored plates that run down the center,
those are called vents. And believe it or not, the
largest species of chiton lives in this area. And that’s honestly what I’m
hoping to come across today. The tide is low enough,
it’s just the matter of being in the right
place at the right time, and finding the right
series of rocks. And I’m gonna place this
one back here in the shade. There we go. Alright, let’s keep
moving and try to find the giant gumboot. – Gum what?
– Gumboot chiton. So far, aside from
the prickleback, everything we were
finding was rather small. That is until I jumped
between two boulders and found myself in
the land of giants. Wow, a hermit crab. Ooh, what’s that? That’s the little
sea cucumber again. Oh my goodness, look at this. Look at the size
of that sea star. And it’s purple. Wow, have you ever seen a
sea star that big before? – [Mark] No, I’ve never seen
one that purple either, wow. – That is a first for me. – [Mark] I think that
could be our star. – Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh, guys.
– What? – This is one thing
I’d hoped we’d find. – Is there a bigger one?
– No, no, no, look at this. I got it, I got it. Look at that.
– What is that? – That’s a gumboot.
– What’s a gumboot? – It’s a chiton, it is
actually a type of mollusk related to snails and slugs. And I think between
the two of these, we have found our
feature creatures. Alright, actually the tide
is starting to come back in at this point. Let’s move up a little
ways, and get these two up close for the cameras. Whew, this is awesome. Whew.
– How’d we do? – I would say that was quite
possibly the most successful tidepool adventure
feature we have ever had. Most of the animal
species that we found, we showed you quickly
and them we released them right back into the wild. But our two feature
creatures, we just had to take some time to get up
close for the camera. – Now, I’m gonna reach
into the bucket here. I did bring a bucket just
in case we found something. It was worth holding on to
for a little bit of time. – [Mark] You can see
the tide is all in now. – Yeah, the tide is coming
back in pretty quickly. So we only have a few
minutes with these animals. But if you are ready, let’s
go with the first one. You set?
– Let’s see them. – Okay, here we go. This is the largest sea
star I have ever seen. Look, he’s got algae and
kelp all over his little tube feet there.
– And it’s purple. – It is purple. Now, I will give you one
guess as to what type of sea star this is. Wait, here’s a hint,
what color is it? – [Mark] Grape. – Close, and a good guess,
it is a purple sea star. And this is one of the
largest species you can find off the Pacific coast. And honestly, it is
the biggest sea star I have ever handled. Look at this thing. I’m gonna gently peel off
a little bit of this kelp and algae from its tube feet. Yeah, clean you up here, buddy. Now, I’m gonna turn it and
let’s look at the underside. Check this out. See all these
little white things that look like
spaghetti noodles? Those are called tube feet. Now, they have thousands
of these and they’re used to slowly move over
the surface of rocks when they’re underwater. And actually, believe or not,
I say slowly move over rocks, when a sea star needs to,
it actually can travel pretty quickly. Now, aside from movement,
these tube feet are also used to help them catch and
consume their prey. Now, what they primarily feast
on are mollusks and clams. And what they will do, let’s
say my hand is a mollusk, and you know how they close
up in their shell like this. What it will do is completely
engulf the mollusk, wrap its arms around and
then use all of its power to peel the shell slightly open. Then, they take their mouth. They actually evert
their mouth and stomach. So that means that their
mouth and stomach comes out of the center of their body. They release digestive
enzymes into their prey, it breaks down the prey’s body. So it essentially kills
them, poisons them, and then they’re able to
suck all that delicious flesh into their mouths
and they have a meal. You wanna know
something really gross? After they’ve
consumed their food, they actually poop it right
back out of that same hole. Mouth and butt right in the
same spot, how crazy is that? – That’s disgusting.
– Totally disgusting. But what an interesting
tidepool creature. And without question,
the largest sea star I have ever seen. Now, I know in past
episodes of Beyond the Tide, we’ve shown you guys
the little bat stars, and a couple of smaller
species, but this thing is about as big as my face. Now one cool thing that
we do know about sea stars is that if they lose a
limb, it can regenerate. So, let’s say it gets
stuck in a rock or a bird or some other sort of predator
comes in and bites off one of these legs, it’s not
gonna kill the sea star. It’s called caudal autonomy
and it will eventually grow that limb back. Now this is a very common
species up and down the Pacific coast. And they’re pretty simple
to find when the tide is at its absolute lowest. Pretty cool, huh?
– The purple sea star. – The purple sea star. Alright, I’m gonna put
this back into the bucket, and let’s bring
out our big star. You ready for this?
– Alright. Guest number two, let’s do it. – Alright, let me
get it out of here. – [Mark] Whoa. – Look at that. This is, in my opinion, one
of the most bizarre creatures we could’ve come across. Kind of reminds me of
the black sea hare, but it’s not as squishy. Now, this chiton is very unique
amongst other chiton species because, I’m gonna
turn it this way, and the one that we showed
you earlier had these distinct valves that ran
cross-length of the back. They’re kind of
like armor plating. Now, this variety does
also has those valves, but they’re covered in
this thick rugged skin. This skin is called the girdle. Now, you’re probably thinking,
what does that feel like. Is it real slimy? It’s not, go ahead, Mark,
put your hand out there and touch the back
of that chiton. – [Mark] It’s like an
elephant or something. – It is. It feels like an elephant
or rhinoceros skin. Now, this is very
tough, very durable. Not only helps keep
them camouflaged, but also protects them
against potential predators. – [Mark] This one is red, we
saw some smaller ones earlier and they were like brown. – Yeah, that’s true,
and this red coloration, I don’t know exactly
why it’s red. You would think, maybe
it stays in kelp, and perhaps that’s what
keeps it camouflaged. Kelp is kind of this
reddish-orange coloration. They do feed on primarily
algae, so I don’t know, that tough skin though,
definitely is gonna defend it against any potential predators. – [Mark] So what
part am I looking at? Is there a head? – Oh yeah, let’s look at
the anatomy of the gumboot. It’s very strong, so I can only
kind of hold it open there. Now, just like a
slug, they have a foot that’s right in the middle here. That big area down there. And they also have a mouth,
which tucked in underneath here. And inside that
mouth is a radula. A radula is kind of
like a scrapy tongue, it’s covered in these little
teeth and they use that to drag across rocks
where they feast on algae which is their primary
source of food. So this is an herbivore. Now behind these flaps,
you see these right here, they have gills just like a
brown or a black sea hare. We can’t expose those, I’d
have to actually peel them back and I don’t think it will
be too happy if I do that, but they use those to
breathe underwater. Now, most chiton species are
capable of really suctioning onto rocks. This species though,
actually is not able to hold on very tightly. So oftentimes, rough waves
will peel them from the rocks, and you’ll see them washed
up on shore like this, just facing upright. And unfortunately, they
aren’t able to flip over, and they bake in
the sun and die. So, we definitely need to
return this creature back to the water, and hopefully up
underneath a big strong rock. – [Mark] They can
actually live out of water for quite a while, right? – They can, and as long as
they stay positioned downward, like this, and flatten
out their bodies, they can stay out of
water for a considerable amount of time. – [Mark] So are they like
a hedgehog in the sense they can curl up in
a ball like that? – Well that’s a good question. Well we know, hedgehogs are
mammals, this is not a mammal. This is a mollusk. And they can curl
up to about there. It’s not gonna curl up
completely into a ball. What it’s doing right now is
protecting its foot, its mouth, and its gills, which are
right behind these flaps here. And I guess these
must be parapodia, just like a black sea hare has
very soft, kind of flexible parapodia, these are very dense, very tough muscles right there. – [Mark] So it basically can
curl up into a Pac-Man shape? – Yeah, pretty much. You look at it from
the side there, that’s like a giant Pac-Man. Also kind of looks
like an alien creature that would maybe
suction onto your face, but it’s not gonna do that. Good news for me,
they also do not bite, so I have nothing
to worry about. They are not venomous,
they are not poisonous. This is a completely
safe species to handle if you happen to find
one in the tide pool. – [Mark] So Coyote,
how rare is a gumboot? – That’s a good question. I have never come
across a gumboot before, and I’ve come across
many chiton species. The only time you’ll
find these giants is when the tide has receded
out to its lowest interval. That allowed us today to get
up underneath some big rocks and that’s where
I found this guy, and got up-close
for the cameras. Definitely one of
the coolest creatures that we have featured
on Beyond the Tide. Now this is the largest
chiton species in the world, and they can grow to
be 14 inches in length and weigh as much as
four and a half pounds. How about that for a giant? – [Mark] So what eats these? Does anything eat one of these? – Small crabs would
eat along the edges of this animal’s body, but
from what marine biologists have observed, it doesn’t
seem to necessarily injure or distract this
creature from moving along the ocean floor. – [Mark] So it doesn’t have
a whole lot of predators is what you’re saying? – No, but here’s
an interesting fact that you may not know. The gumboot is actually
edible if you’re a human. (groans) Believe it or not, in
a worst-case scenario, let’s say you’re
stranded on an island, and you’ve run out of
coconuts and crabs, and you find a gumboot, this
internal fleshy area is edible. Although I’d have to imagine
it would taste pretty gross. I mean, just that name,
gumboot, I’m imagining it’s like eating a very
chewy boot that probably has the taste of
disgusting ocean water. – [Mark] We’re headed
back to shore tonight, so we’re gonna have pizza. – Yeah, I’m gonna eat pizza
tonight and not a gumboot. Well I would definitely
say that this was one epic excursion. Exploring Doe Island
where we came across more marine species
than we’ve ever featured on an episode of
Beyond the Tide. I’m Coyote Peterson saying,
be brave, stay wild. We’ll see you on
the next adventure. Whoa, look at this, the
tide is coming back in which means it’s time
to put the animals back into the ocean. Exploring along the
shoreline of Doe Island, we came across some
fascinating marine animals. Species like the gumboot
chiton and purple sea star are rarely exposed. So it’s only when the tide
is at its absolute lowest that creatures like
this can be encountered and safely admired. If you come across either
of these two in the wild, remember that they are
completely harmless. However, it’s always best
to simply admire them from a respectful distance
so that you do not disturb their natural behavior cycle. Hey Coyote Pack, have you
picked up your tickets for the Brave
Adventures Tour yet? There’s only a few left so
make sure to click on this link to reserve your seats today. And remember, the
tour is the only place you can find one of
the exclusive golden
adventure tickets. And don’t forget, subscribe,
so you can join me and the crew on our
next big adventure. I am so proud to have
written this book, and it was inspired by
a lot of the adventures that we have had.

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