Marine Fauna of the Outer Hebrides


The marine animals found on both rocky and sandy shores display an extra-ordinary diversity of life styles and physical forms reflecting the complexity of an environment which is affected by a range of physical variables from salinity and temperature to wave action. The range animal groups (phyla) found on the seashore is greater than for any terrestrial environment, although the number of species is be generally smaller. Sixteen of the phyla of multicellular animals are found only in the sea and five of these major groups (Porifera, Cnidaria, Mollusca, Annelida and Crustaceae) are more diverse and abundant in marine environments.

The majority of the animals encountered on the seashore will be invertebrates and the composition of the community will depend on the nature of the shore and the tidal zone where the animals are found.

So far we have only looked at the animals found on rocky shores and as they come from a variety of different groups the photographic index is organised by phyla with links to the families and then species. There is also a list of scientific and common names with links to the individual species descriptions.


Marine Invertebrates