Coastal Bay Animals
The base and basis of the community
Oyster reefs provide a solid base for plants and animals including algae, mussles, barnacles, snails, worms and sea anemones, that otherwise couldn't live on the soft bay bottom. Gobies, blennies and other small fish shelter on the oyster reefs, too.
Oysters are food as well as shelter for some animals. Stone crabs and oyster drills preyon oystersm and boring sponges weaken the oysters they live on by burrowing into their shells.
Some drift through life
Jellyfish drift into coastal bays, blown along by winds or swept in by currents. Not really fish themselves, some jellies feed on fish while others capture tiny animals with their tentacles.
Cabbagehead jellies and Portuguese men-of-war are two of hte more common hellies. Although cabbageheads are harmless, watch out for the Portuguese men-of-war. Even washed up on the beach, their tentacles can still pack a painful and poisonous sting.
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