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Mud flats

Fundy's mud flats: an overlooked oasis.

There's more to those lifeless looking muddy expanses than meets the eye!

The Bay of Fundy is world renowned for its extreme daily tidal fluctuations, and it is the tides and tidal actions that lure migrating shorebirds to Fundy each fall. But, what attracts shorebirds to the upper Bay of Fundy is not water, but rather the mud and mud flat created by tidal waters.

Enormous expanses of glistening gooey mud exposed at low tide characterise the upper Bay of Fundy. Concealed within this seemingly lifeless brown mass of sediment is a busy underworld - the buried universe of mud creatures. An incredible array of invertebrates, including various types of sand worms, molluscs (e.g. snails and clams), shrimp-like animals, and microscopic creatures, make their home in the mud. It's a community unto itself and that remains largely overlooked by people...but not by shorebirds.

The wealth of life in the mud flats offers a magnificient feeding opportunity to tired, hungry, travel weary shorebirds! The main course on the mud flat menu is Corophium volutator, or the tiny "mud shrimp."

Fundy's tides constantly bring new sediment into the mud flat.
Photo: Donald Sam


Bay of Fundy

Upper Bay of Fundy

Corophium volutator

Evangeline Beach mud flat.
Photo: Donald Sam


Mud worms are plentiful in the mud.
Photo: Jim Wolford

Text prepared by Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources (NSDNR)
Graphics provided by NSDNR unless otherwise indicated
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Page last updated 25 January, 2006 10:39 PM