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Exploring the rocky coast

Hiking along the coastline northwards from the Holiday homes Azalas, one can explore the amazing habitat of the rocky coast, discovering organisms of the tidal zone as well as the often astonishing rock formations. Such a walk is particularly rewarding on a calm day when it is possible to look right into the water. With a bit of luck, you can observe in this way quite a few interesting marine animals.

By clicking on the images, you’ll be directed to the page where I describe the respective organisms in more detail (so far only in German).

View from the chapel towards the north; in the left part of the image, the freshwater springs are recognizable.

At the small chapel Ágios Dimítris, there are strong freshwater springs in the sea – the lighter fresh water bubbles up to the surface.

In the small bay of Firolimnári, heaps of seaweed, torn off during winter storms, pile up on the beach.

On the marble rocks, you can occasionally find “dendrites” mineral deposits of manganese oxide, that take shapes resembling fossilized leaves.

A Montagu’s blenny (Coryphoblennius galerita) perches in the shallow water.

The girls discover a small octopus among the rocks.

It’s a Common Octopus (Octopus vulgaris). I barely manage to capture this photo before it shoots away.

Next to it sits a sea cucumber, Holothuria forskali.

Adjacent to Firolimnári lies this wonderful bay with a small sandy beach.

To the north, the coastline consists partly of tightly cemented river deposits (conglomerate).

under the conglomerate

On the subsequent promontory, there are numerous fissures in the rocks and tidal pools.

Exploring the tidal zone is always fun.

The rocks in the splash zone are eroded by blue-green algae, often forming such holes which retain the water for some time.

In the regularly flooded holes, various types of algae grow, sometimes even sea anemones (in the center of the image).

a trumpet anemone

a beadlet anemone

This stout species of brown alga grows right at the waterline; I haven’t been able to identify it yet.

Calcified red algae like Lithophyllum tortuosum are also common here.

a sponge living in the limestone (Cliona celata)

Poli’s stellate barnacles live on the rocks above the waterline.

a shrimp species (Palaemon elegans)

In this area larger holes have formed in the rocks.

Some of the holes are very deep.

in the hole

Further north, the coast consists of particularly deeply fissured marble blocks.

The marble rocks here are also covered with countless organisms.

The coating with blue-green algae extends high up into the splash zone.

In the blue-green algae coating, such structures seem to form possibly due to rainwater.

limpet feeding traces
What could this be? Clicking on the image will take you to the page with the solution to the puzzle.

hornweed, a red alga

Boring sponge and the red alga Laurencia obtusa

Cystoseira compressa, one of several species of its genus that occur in the shallow water.

Polysiphonia sertularioides grows on rocks that are washed over only by the waves.

Dasycladus vermicularis, on the other hand, is found so close to the surface only in shady holes and crevices.

Caulerpa racemosa

The Warty crab is shy, but with a bit of luck you can sometimes spot one in a rocky crevice.

More common is the Marbled rock crab; here’s one with stellate barnacles on its carapace.

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