Seaweeds and marine creatures like crabs are a familiar sight on a beach – but what type of seaweed and what type of crab? On Somerset's beaches you can find around 120 seaweeds and 12 species of crab. But what else might you find with careful looking? There are prawns, fish, seashells, sea anemones, sea squirts, sponges and starfish, and when you start to look more closely a whole new world begins to appear. There are flat, hard pink seaweeds that look like paint spilt across the rock, animals that look a little like plants and hundreds, sometimes thousands, of tiny animals called bryozoans only a millimetre or so across, living in tightly packed colonies that encrust seaweeds and rocks.
A Guide to Finding Seashore and Rockpool Life in Somerset illustrates 136 species that you are likely to find on a beach expedition in Somerset. But this is only a small percentage of the seaweeds and marine creatures that have been recorded along Somerset's coast.