July 3rd, 2015

You can find some amazing things along the inter tidal zone in Tofino, this shot was taken while paddling through a kelp forest alongside Mackenzie Beach, during one of our Mackenzie Beach SUP tours. This kelp crab (pictured below) is 1 of the 800 plus species of marine animals that can be found in a healthy kelp forest.

Pugettia Productus, commonly known as a kelp crabs or spider crabs are herbivores, relying on eating kelp, rock weed and other types of algae. One of their major predators happens to be the Sea Otter, which come to feed in kelp forests.

kelp crab

 

 

Kelp plants have no true root system, instead they depend on haptera; short, thin, sturdy structures that look like speghetti. Numerous haptera form a structure known as a holdfast, which attaches this fast growing algae to the bottom of the sea floor. In ideal condtions, the kelp can grow up to 175 feet long.