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Quiz about A Rockpooling Tour of the British Coastline
Quiz about A Rockpooling Tour of the British Coastline

A Rockpooling Tour of the British Coastline Quiz


From starfish to crabs, the British rocky shore harbours some of the marine world's hardiest organisms. This quiz focuses on the rocky shore on the east coast of Britain.

A multiple-choice quiz by Benesesso. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
Benesesso
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
304,937
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
10 / 15
Plays
1834
Awards
Editor's Choice
Last 3 plays: calmdecember (8/15), Guest 88 (11/15), Dreessen (8/15).
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Question 1 of 15
1. You waste no time in arriving on the beach, where you immediately come across a small scuttling isopod (order of crustaceans that includes the woodlouse), which is very common on the upper shore. What have you just found? Hint


Question 2 of 15
2. You spot a small chalk boulder which you promptly turn over. The underside of the rock seems to be dominated by jumping amphipods (order of small, shrimp-like crustaceans) desperately trying to get to a more sheltered area. What have you just found in abundance? Hint


Question 3 of 15
3. Into the rockpools you go, and already you see a small green crustacean scuttle across the bottom of the pool and navigate itself into a rock crevice. What have you just disturbed? Hint


Question 4 of 15
4. You continue to explore a rather large rockpool on the upper shore, and a moving whelk shell catches your eye. You reach down and pick it up out of the pool, and find that it is a hermit crab occupying the shell. There are many different species of hermit crab in Britain, but which is the most common? Hint


Question 5 of 15
5. You seem to have an eagle eye for rockpooling! You make out a large fish-like shape in the sand, and as your eyes get used to the camouflaged fish, you notice the large spines on its dorsal fin and head - best not pick this one up! What have you just found? Hint


Question 6 of 15
6. You continue to explore the upper shore, and after turning over another rock, you see a dozen or so shells all clustered together. Unlike the whelk shell you saw the hermit crab occupy, these shells lack a spire and appear to be much rounder. Which mollusc is this? Hint


Question 7 of 15
7. Underneath the same rock, your eyes are drawn to an echinoderm with five-part radial symmetry. It is yellow/orange in colour and is about 6cm across. What have you just found? Hint


Question 8 of 15
8. It's a hot day in summer, and you come across a very large rockpool that you're going to have to navigate past, as it is too deep to cross safely. As you are walking around the large pool, you see a large shoal of small fish swimming in the water. What is this fish likely to be? Hint


Question 9 of 15
9. You begin to move on to the middle shore, and underneath a stone you see a large crab, partially buried in the sand. The crab is a reddish/pink colour and has a wide carapace with a 'pie crust' edge. What species is this crab most likely to be? Hint


Question 10 of 15
10. Continuing on the middle shore, you turn over a small rock, and two piercing red eyes greet you, and sharp claws immediately snap at your fingers. You recoil back, understandably startled by this angry looking crab. What is it likely to be? Hint


Question 11 of 15
11. Bladder wrack, a species of brown algae, is an excellent way of identifying that you are on the middle shore, as it is very abundant in that zone. If you see serrated or toothed wrack, which area of the shore are you most likely to be on? Hint


Question 12 of 15
12. You are now on the lower shore, and you eagerly peer into a rockpool hoping to see another marine organism. Two red antennae underneath a rocky overhang catch your eye. You try to get closer, and manage to make out two predominantly blue claws, before the mystery crustacean retreats back under the overhang. What have you just seen? Hint


Question 13 of 15
13. As you make your way to the next large rockpool, you notice a very large fish in a very small pool. It seems to be guarding eggs! The fish is red in colour, with a deep, chunky body. It seems to be content in staying in the small rockpool. What is this fish? Hint


Question 14 of 15
14. You are understandably amazed to see such a big fish guarding eggs in such a small rockpool. That's dedication for you! Keeping on the lumpsucker theme, is it true that lumpsucker eggs are sold commercially as caviar?


Question 15 of 15
15. You look at your watch and realise that it is ten minutes past low tide. Is it safe to stay out on the lower shore much longer?



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Most Recent Scores
Jul 24 2024 : calmdecember: 8/15
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Jul 03 2024 : Dreessen: 8/15
Jun 25 2024 : gogetem: 11/15
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Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. You waste no time in arriving on the beach, where you immediately come across a small scuttling isopod (order of crustaceans that includes the woodlouse), which is very common on the upper shore. What have you just found?

Answer: Sea slater

The most common sea slater you will see on British coasts is Ligia oceanica, which can grow up to 3cm in length. Its colour varies from green to grey, and this species is generally a more common find at night, as it is a nocturnal feeder. It is an omnivore, and feeds on many species of seaweeds (such as Bladder wrack (Fucus vesiculosus)), diatoms (a group of algae), and living debris.
2. You spot a small chalk boulder which you promptly turn over. The underside of the rock seems to be dominated by jumping amphipods (order of small, shrimp-like crustaceans) desperately trying to get to a more sheltered area. What have you just found in abundance?

Answer: Sand hoppers

Sand hoppers are abundant on the extreme upper shore, and prefer shelter underneath chalk rocks. They feed on rotting seaweeds washed up by the tide. If disturbed, which they most certainly will be if you turn over their rock, they will jump erratically away as a defensive ploy to keep out of the mouths of predators.
3. Into the rockpools you go, and already you see a small green crustacean scuttle across the bottom of the pool and navigate itself into a rock crevice. What have you just disturbed?

Answer: Green shore crab

The green shore crab is a well-known crab species in Britain. The crab's colouring can vary, with red, brown and grey variants also found. The crab's colour variation is a combination of environmental and genetic factors. The crab is often found on the upper and middle shore, and feeds on many bivalve organisms such as mussels.
4. You continue to explore a rather large rockpool on the upper shore, and a moving whelk shell catches your eye. You reach down and pick it up out of the pool, and find that it is a hermit crab occupying the shell. There are many different species of hermit crab in Britain, but which is the most common?

Answer: Pagurus bernhardus

Pagurus bernhardus can be commonly seen on all British coasts, and is also one of the larger British hermit crab species, with carapace lengths reaching 35mm, and a right pincer that is much larger than the left. The hermit crab often occupies whelk or winkle shells, and will search and move into a bigger shell once it outgrows its current shell.

Although they are commonly found on the upper shore, larger examples of the Pagurus bernhardus species are usually found on the lower shore and out in the deep ocean, where they are often trawled.
5. You seem to have an eagle eye for rockpooling! You make out a large fish-like shape in the sand, and as your eyes get used to the camouflaged fish, you notice the large spines on its dorsal fin and head - best not pick this one up! What have you just found?

Answer: Long-spined sea scorpion

The long-spined sea scorpion, or bullhead, is a stocky fish with a large bony head that tapers toward the tail. It can grow to over 20cm in length, but is more commonly found at a length of 10-15cm. The spines on its dorsal fin and head are not poisonous, but are sharp and meant for protection against predators.

The colours of this species are incredibly variable, with light-coloured examples preferring sand as a camouflage, and dark-coloured examples better suited to brown algae camouflage.
6. You continue to explore the upper shore, and after turning over another rock, you see a dozen or so shells all clustered together. Unlike the whelk shell you saw the hermit crab occupy, these shells lack a spire and appear to be much rounder. Which mollusc is this?

Answer: Flat periwinkle

There are four recognised species of periwinkle on British rocky coasts. The flat periwinkle can be distinguished from the other three species by its flattened spire. The edible periwinkle, small periwinkle, and rough periwinkle are the other three species, and all can be found on the upper and middle shore.
7. Underneath the same rock, your eyes are drawn to an echinoderm with five-part radial symmetry. It is yellow/orange in colour and is about 6cm across. What have you just found?

Answer: Common starfish

The common starfish, as the name suggests, is the most common starfish found on British coasts. It is frequently found on all areas of the shore, although larger specimens are more frequently found on the lower shore and out to sea. Interestingly, common starfish can suffer from genetic mutations that result in them having more or less than the usual five arms (in most cases this mutation results in the starfish having four or six arms).
8. It's a hot day in summer, and you come across a very large rockpool that you're going to have to navigate past, as it is too deep to cross safely. As you are walking around the large pool, you see a large shoal of small fish swimming in the water. What is this fish likely to be?

Answer: Lesser sand eel

Lesser sand eels are a common site in large rockpools in summer. They are often seen in large shoals, mainly for protection, as they are keystone species in the ecosystem and are the prey of many common sea birds. Typically, this fish does not exceed 8cm in length.
9. You begin to move on to the middle shore, and underneath a stone you see a large crab, partially buried in the sand. The crab is a reddish/pink colour and has a wide carapace with a 'pie crust' edge. What species is this crab most likely to be?

Answer: Cancer pagurus (edible crab)

The edible crab has the classic 'pie crust' edging to its carapace, and is often identified by this piece of information alone. Mature adult species can grow to be very large, up to 30cm in width. These are often found in deeper waters though, and are frequently trawled.

In rockpools, typical specimens of Cancer pagurus are about 8-12cm across the carapace. Juveniles can be found almost anywhere on the shore, even amongst kelpweed holdfasts (roots).
10. Continuing on the middle shore, you turn over a small rock, and two piercing red eyes greet you, and sharp claws immediately snap at your fingers. You recoil back, understandably startled by this angry looking crab. What is it likely to be?

Answer: Velvet swimmer crab

The velvet swimmer crab has a fearsome rockpool reputation as an angry crustacean. Indeed, it has been nicknamed the devil crab in some parts of the country. The crab will fiercely defend its territory and will snap its claws, or chelipeds, at anything that tries to get too close.

This crab typically grows to around 8cm maximum carapace width, but is more often found with body widths of 4-6cm.
11. Bladder wrack, a species of brown algae, is an excellent way of identifying that you are on the middle shore, as it is very abundant in that zone. If you see serrated or toothed wrack, which area of the shore are you most likely to be on?

Answer: Lower shore

There are four species of brown algae that are excellent for identifying which area of the shore you are on. Spiral wrack is typically most abundant on the upper shore, bladder wrack is most abundant on the middle shore, serrated wrack is most abundant on the lower shore, and sea belt (a type of kelp weed) is most abundant in the sublittoral zone (this area is even lower than the lower shore and is only exposed to air during the lowest spring tides.)
12. You are now on the lower shore, and you eagerly peer into a rockpool hoping to see another marine organism. Two red antennae underneath a rocky overhang catch your eye. You try to get closer, and manage to make out two predominantly blue claws, before the mystery crustacean retreats back under the overhang. What have you just seen?

Answer: European lobster

The European lobster can grow to well over 50cm in length, but most are fished before they reach such a size. When you are rockpooling, you are most likely to see lobsters ranging between 15-30cm in length (not including the claws). Large mature adult lobsters are usually found in much deeper waters.
13. As you make your way to the next large rockpool, you notice a very large fish in a very small pool. It seems to be guarding eggs! The fish is red in colour, with a deep, chunky body. It seems to be content in staying in the small rockpool. What is this fish?

Answer: Male lumpsucker

Breeding occurs from February to May, and the male lumpsucker establishes a territory for the eggs, and then spends several weeks guarding and ventilating the fertilised eggs until they have hatched. The females are larger than the males, and are usually blue/grey in colour. Males grow to 30cm in length, females up to 50cm.
14. You are understandably amazed to see such a big fish guarding eggs in such a small rockpool. That's dedication for you! Keeping on the lumpsucker theme, is it true that lumpsucker eggs are sold commercially as caviar?

Answer: Yes

Lumpsucker caviar, or lumpfish caviar, is simply the fully ripe egg mass of the female lumpsucker (known as 'roe') which has been processed and salted. Most often, the naturally pale eggs are dyed black or orange before going on sale as caviar.
15. You look at your watch and realise that it is ten minutes past low tide. Is it safe to stay out on the lower shore much longer?

Answer: No

Before you go rockpooling anywhere, make a note of what time low tide is. Alarm your watch or mobile phone if necessary. If you stay out on the lower shore for too long, you are at serious risk of being trapped by the incoming tide. The lower shore may harbour many interesting marine organisms, but it is also the most dangerous area of the shore, and safety must always come first when rockpooling.

I hope you enjoyed the tour!
Source: Author Benesesso

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor crisw before going online.
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