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Take your fishbowl to the beach: here's a way to look at sea creatures up close.

I like to take my plastic fishbowl to the seashore. I fill it with ocean water and an inch or two of sand. Then I look for sea creatures that might be hiding inside their shells or in the sand.

Hermit Crab

Once I found a hermit crab in a moon-snail shell. I put it in my bowl. The crab poked out its head and arms to explore the bowl. I got a good look at its striped claws and its twitching eyestalks.

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Mole Crab

I dug up some sand-colored mole crabs. I watched them scurry around. It was fun to see them dig backward into the sand. Their feathery antennae stuck out from the front end of their armored bodies. They thought they were hiding, but when I looked under the fishbowl I could see them digging rapidly.

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Barnacle

The barnacle is an animal that attaches itself to almost anything that's left in the ocean for a while. As the barnacle grows, it makes a shell around itself. That shell looks like a tiny volcano. I once found a baseball hat in the water. It was covered with barnacles, so I placed it in the bowl. In a few minutes, the barnacles' feathery arms pushed out. The cap looked like a fuzzy pink slipper--except this fuzz was alive!

Clam

I also found some clams. Clams often live just below the surface of sand in low water. In the sand, clams open their shells and stick out their siphon tubes into the water above. These tubes help clams gather food and oxygen.

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If you take a trip to the seashore, why not bring a clear-plastic bowl? With a little luck, these animals will show themselves to you!

Try It Yourself

Here are some things to keep in mind:

* Be sure to have an adult with you.

* Fill your bowl with water and about two inches of sand. (Use only the water in which you find the animals.)

* Remember that these animals are alive. Their home is the ocean. So enjoy them for about ten minutes. Then put them back where you found them.

* Replace the water each time you release what you have caught.

* Animals are sensitive to temperature changes. Don't leave the bowl in the sun.
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Author:Ewen, Les
Publication:Highlights for Children
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2008
Words:383
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