FNR 45400 Lecture 22: Shore Adaptations

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Shore species have developed many adaptations to avoid overheating, desiccation, and wave shock. Organisms attached to high shore locations face the greatest challenge to maintain suitable body temperature and avoid water loss. These organisms are more susceptible to overheating and desiccation than low shore species. To mitigate overheating and desiccation, some organisms have adapted a larger body size and, therefore, less surface area. Having less surface area decreases the amount of water being lost to the environment. Organisms have also adapted to congregate in large clumps thereby retaining moisture and keeping a stable temperature. Mobility allows animals like crabs, sea urchins, and sea stars to move to less stressful environments when conditions become unmanageable. Some species like limpets and chitins clamp down tightly to rock to trap and retain water. Other species like mussels and clams close their shells at low tide to prevent water loss.

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