Cannon Beach, Oregon

Haystack Rock tidepools - July 2004


Mussels, Barnacles, and
Sea Stars

On the left side of this photo are California mussels. On the right side are gooseneck barnacles. In between are common (ochre) sea stars.

A study of the ochre sea star (sp. Pisaster ochraceus) lead to the ecological concept of keystone species - a species that is critical to maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Without the presence of sea stars, mussels would likely overrun the ecosystem, altering its balance and significantly reducing its biodiversity.


Photo by Joel Clapp

<-- Previous | Photos Index | Next Photo -->