We read that it could be quite interesting to go down to the beach area at low tide – that there would be all kinds of interesting sea creatures that could be seen. We waited for the morning that the tide was at the lowest during our stay here in Newport, Oregon. Except at low tide all of these smaller rocks would have been covered by the ocean but at low tide they held tide pools and all kinds of things that were attached to them.
The stars of the show were none other than starfish. also known as sea stars. They are not a fish. They are fairly crude creatures that don’t have bones. They have a mouth on the backside of the center of their body and they move along the rocks attaching themselves to their prey, largely small shellfish which they can open and essentially extend out their stomachs and eat. There is presently an epidemic up and down the Pacific coast of something called Starfish Wasting Disease that is killing almost all of them. Scientists are unsure of the cause, but it has happened before and eventually they did recover, hopefully they will again.
There were rocks virtually covered with mussels.
And the beach was heavily littered with these creatures. We guess that they were Portuguese Men Of War but some research indicates they likely were Velella. Note that this one exhibits kind of a clear wing to the left of its purplish body. This wing helps them to ride on top of the ocean being propelled by the wind and they have no means to move themselves. They feed on plankton in the ocean and they do not sting humans.
There is a lot out there in the ocean beyond the fish and sharks.