Professor Richard Fortey looks at the different survival techniques of the rock pool animals as they experience and survive long periods of time without any food. Over time adaptations have been made to allow them to survive the ‘in between' zone. Changes in moisture and salinity affect the tissue of many different plants and animals. In low tide there is an increased competition for resources and maintaining a good position will increase the chances of survival. Sea anemones have adapted allowing them to become good hunters. Dr. Mark Griffer introduces the feeding techniques of the assumed to be motionless sea anemones. Feeding tentacles move slowly to trap food and then move it towards the oral disc/mouth. Specialised fighting tentacles are used against others of the same species resulting in the loser moving away to settle elsewhere.

First broadcast:
16 April 2013

Before viewing the clip, students could brainstorm all the ways they can think of for how animals adapt and compete when resources are scarce, such as fighting, sharing, lowering their metabolism, hibernation. More detailed study of the inter-tidal zone could be carried out, breaking it down into different habitats based on their position up or down the beach, and based on how exposed the position is. Students could compare related species in each zone, looking for similarities, and differences that can be explained in terms of the biotic and abiotic factors they have to cope with. Intraspecific competition, such as the anemone fight shown, should be discussed in relation to survival of the fittest. In this case, the strongest anemone will probably win, but students could consider a range of situations where factors including behaviour or even colour could give an advantage.