Rock Pools

Rock Pools

Natural infinity pool
Natural infinity pool

The warm Gulf Stream, coupled with a rich variety of habitats – from rocky shore to sandy beach to shingle – ensure a thriving and varied shoreline community of fish, molluscs, crustaceans and seaweeds.

Look out for the Cornish Sucker Fish with its large head, flat body and distinctive blue spots gripping to the slippery rocks with a powerful sucker, and don't be fooled by Mermaid's Purses. Camouflaged to look like pieces of seaweed, these black bags are actually the cases where fish lay their eggs!

Rock pool fish
Rock pool fish
The tough, green Shanny fish feed on barnacles, crustaceans which cover the rocks in their masses, moving so slowly you can't even see them do it, unlike their distant cousins, crabs and lobsters, who scuttle sideways at an alarming speed.

Prawns, shrimps and sand hoppers share their habitat with molluscs such as sea slugs, sea snails and cuttlefish, whose shells remain long after the body has been eaten. Mussels can be picked and cooked during the winter months, as can various types of edible seaweed such as Sea Lettuce and Purple Laver, still used to make a special type of bread. Other species of seaweed found in Cornwall include Sea Lace, which has fronds that can reach twenty feet long.