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Find matching pictures beneath the playing cards and learn about life in the Chesapeake Bay.

Below are cards shown face down. Click on a card to turn it over. Then click another card to find a second card that matches the first. If the second does not match the first, both cards return to a face down position. If they do match, the cards are removed to show a picture of the Chesapeake Bay.

Descriptions of the pictures on the cards are provided below to help you learn about life in the Chesapeake Bay. Have fun!

polychaete worm This picture shows a clam worm. Clam worms live in the mud and sand at the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay. They move constantly through the mud and sand in search of food. Clam worms have bristly "feet" on their sides. They can be several inches to five or six inches long. They feed on other worms and bits of dead fish. Clam worms are a major food source for fishes and crabs.

polychaete worm
This picture shows a clam worm's feet. Their feet are paddle-shaped with golden bristles on their sides. Clam worms are not naturally pink in color. Scientists color clam worms pink in the laboratory so they can see how many worms they have.

shrimp shrimp
The creature shown here is called a scud. Scuds are fish that live in the shallow waters of the Bay among plant life and under stones. Scuds have hard shells and a small flattened body. They are half an inch long and vary in color depending on the food they eat and where they live. Scuds are a major food source for many fish that live in the Bay.

starfish A sea star lives in salt waters of the Bay. It has a body that is shaped like a star, with five or more arms sticking out from its center. Sea stars have tiny, prickly bumps on their surface. This is their skeleton sticking out through their skin. They also have hundreds of tube-like feet used for moving and for opening the clams and oysters they like to eat. Sea stars are also known as starfish.

crab Crabs are a kind of fish with a hard shell. The type of crab shown here is a rock crab. The rock crab lives in the deep waters of the Chesapeake Bay and walks on the sea floor. They are round in shape with a smooth outer shell that is about five inches wide. Their shells are yellowish with purple spots. Rock crabs like to eat smaller animals in the Bay such as scuds and clams. Rock crabs are also a major food source for man and birds.

clam The creature shown here is called a wedge clam. The wedge clam does not live naturally in the Chesapeake Bay. The wedge clam lives in different parts of the Atlantic Ocean, mainly along the coast of Maine and Canada. The wedge clam was introduced into the Bay by ships which take in water containing the wedge clams from the ocean. The ships then store the water in their tanks to stay balanced. Some of these ships then enter the Bay and dump the water when it is no longer needed, releasing animals such as the wedge clam.

Wedge clams eat by sucking in water and very small plant life, taking the nutrients they need from them. The wedge clam has become a new food source for Chesapeake Bay birds.

seahorse The creature shown here is a seahorse. Seahorses are a kind of fish with a curled tail and head. They have long tube-like jaws with a small, toothless mouth. Their bodies are protected by bony rings. Seahorses swim upright and live among plants in the water. Seahorses feed on very small animals. While feeding, they curl their tails around plant leaves to hold their bodies in place. Female seahorses lay their eggs inside pouches, which only the male seahorses have. Seahorses in the Chesapeake Bay are called "lined" seahorses because they have horizontal lines on the outside of their bodies.

sea turtle This is a picture of a kind of sea turtle called a loggerhead turtle, the most common kind of turtle found in the Bay. The loggerhead turtle has a hard shell which can weigh as much as 500 pounds. Sea turtles are reptiles and breathe air, but they spend almost all their time swimming and living in water. Their legs are shaped like flippers so they can swim quickly. Loggerhead tutrles swim to shore only to lay their eggs. Loggerhead turtles are an endangered species because of hunting, fishing, and accidents with boats.

horshoe crab The horseshoe crab lives at the bottom of the ocean in the Chesapeake Bay and nearby rivers. The body of the horseshoe crab is more like a spider or scorpion than a crab. They have brown, round shells, five pairs of legs, and a spiked tail. The horseshoe crab feeds on worms and clams. They use their legs to crush and grind their food and to put it into their mouths. Horseshoe crab eggs are an important food source for turtles and birds.

For more information about marine life in the Chesapeake Bay, visit the Chesapeake Bay Program Office Web site.

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