The rock platform at Point Leo is below the Crunchies Lookout and provides many different habitats for marine animals. The profile of the rock platform means that lower areas will be covered with water while higher areas are dry. The profile also means that the incoming tide will cover areas next to the beach before covering the higher parts of the platform. If you do not keep an eye on the tide you will find yourself cut off from the beach.
The shallow rock pools with their many rocks are ideal places to look for animals. Brittle stars prefer to live under rocks sitting on the sand and broken shells. If you turn over these rocks the brittle stars will not scurry away but rely on their camouflage to conceal them. You may not see them at first, but once they move, you will see them. Like the brittle stars, decorator crabs will also remain still, only becoming obvious when they move. Keep an eye out for the hairy stone crabs with their large flat claws and bright blue mouthparts.
You should always look at the bottom of the rocks you turn over. Many animals such as elephant snails, flatworms, sea stars and chitons attach themselves to the rock either to feed or to move about. It is not uncommon to find small blue or red eleven-armed sea stars some of which have legs of different sizes.
If you are patient and take the time to look at and under the rock, you will be surprised at what you will be able to find. You may even see snail shells moving about much faster than you thought a snail could move. It is not a snail but a hermit crab living in the snail shell. There is a good population of hermit crabs at Point Leo, so you should be able to find some.
Enjoy looking around Point Leo during Sea Week 2021!
If you would like to learn more about the huge diversity of life that can be found in the shallows along our shorelines please contact Education Director Mandy Robertson on firstname.lastname@example.org