At first glance, the vast salt marshes in the Gulf of Mexico seem like a monocultural tesselation of seagrass and water. But take a closer look and you will be amazed at the microcosm of life that exists in its diversity of microhabitats. The expansive flats of marsh grass are teeming with life, concealed in their verdent blades are a menagerie of birds, fish, and invertebrates. When we motor up to a site, my eyes have to adjust from staring at a blanket of marsh grass, to carefully examining the activity in the marsh. If you are patient, and keep a watchful eye, the grass will come to life. Seaside sparows and red-winged blackbirds bustling among the blades, tiny crabs scuttling in and out of mudholes, snails noisily munching on blades of grass, minnows darting around stems. And once you really start to pay attention you notice the gator slides, bird nests, and all the abiotic features that the animals create in their marshland paradise.
The eggs of an oyster drill (a predatory snail) inhabiting an oyster shell