The intertidal zone is a diverse place to live and an important ecosystem! It helps protect the shoreline and provides food for many birds, whether they are migrating species or call the coast home. Because it’s found where the ocean meets the shore, the conditions here are ever-changing. One might even call it an extreme environment! Animals that live in the intertidal zone must be prepared for anything and be well-adapted for survival. Intertidal zones can occur on sandy beaches and rocky shores but they will be a little different because of the land formations. Either way, when the tide is low, many creatures are left in the dry air. And when the tide is high, they are covered with water. So animals must be able to adapt. Some, like crabs, will move to water or dig into the sand while others, like barnacles, can hold water inside their shells to keep them from drying out.