Lab Members

Prospective Students

Scholarships &



Coastal Scene Investigation

Pacific Coast
Field Guide

Environmental Research Symposium





Solitary Tunicate Ringed nudibranch Diaulula sandiegensis Spiney kelp crab Pugettia gracilis
Marine Animal Identification Game
Match each picture with its species name and description. See Answer Key for solutions.








1. Purple Shore Crab

2. Red Sea Cucumber

3. Moon Snail

4. Sunflower Sea Star

5. Red Sea Urchin

6. Sea Anemone

7. Sand Dollar

I. This animal grows in a baseball-sized white shell from which its huge fleshy foot protrudes. It lays up to 500,000 eggs which are stuck together to form a strange structure that looks like a rubber collar. Do not be fooled and pick the egg case up because it will break and dry out, killing thousands of potential beautiful animals.

II. This animal can have more than twenty arms. Not only is it the largest one of its kind in the world, but it is also the fastest, crawling at the breathtaking speed of three meters a minute!

III. This animal is easy to find on sandy bottoms in the lower tidal zone. The half buried disks are black and prickly, with a flower-like imprint. They are alive and must never be taken from the beach. The white, sun- bleached skeletons of dead ones, however, are free and can be taken home.

IV. Often hidden under rocks, they extend their feathery tentacles to capture food. If disturbed, they will squirt water; when attacked, they will spew out their internal organs, hoping that the attacker will settle for a snack and not attack further. After a few weeks, the animal's internal organs grow back.

V. These animals, sometimes called porcupines of the sea, move by the rotation of their spines and the suction of their tube feet. They have five tooth-like structures underneath their round bodies which they use to eat seaweed. Their gonads (reproductive organs) are considered a delicacy by many and are used to prepare sushi.

VI. It pumps itself full of sea water to keep itself moist during low tide. It has stinging cells called nematocysts which it uses to paralyze its prey of fish and crabs, but its poison is too weak to harm you and you can safely feel the 'tingle' of the stinging cells if you touch the tips of its tentacles.

VII. You must turn over a rock or look in a tide pool to find one of these. Gently pick one up, being careful of its claws, and examine its belly. If a 'lighthouse' is found on its underbelly, it is a male; if it has a 'beehive' there, it is a female.

See Answer Key for solutions.
Text and drawings from: Bard, Shannon. (1990) "A Guide to Marine Exploration and Conservation." British Columbia : Western Canada Wilderness Committee.
Solitary Tunicate Ringed nudibranch Diaulula sandiegensis Spiney kelp crab Pugettia gracilis
All images ©2004 Shannon Bard. Use of images is prohibited without permission.