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Acid seaweed

Acid seaweed

On Exhibit

Animal Facts

  • Scientific Name

    Desmarestia ligulata

  • Animal Type

    Plants & Algae

  • Diet

    converts energy from sunlight and nutrients

  • Relatives

    brown algae, family Phaeophyta

  • Habitat

    Kelp Forest

  • Range

    Pacific coast, southern Oregon to San Diego

Natural History

This harmless-looking seaweed packs a potent weapon, each cell contains a tiny pocket of sulfuric acid to discourage grazing fishes and invertebrates.


Acid seaweed is the most abundant marine algae associated with giant kelp forests. Without the kelp forest, many kinds of fish, snails, crabs, and other animals would be much scarcer. The kelp provides sheltered habitat for hundreds of species.

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