Waves breaking on rocky shorelines impart large forces on intertidal organisms, sometimes dislodging individuals. Dislodged individuals may be deposited in habitats that have a greater risk of predation or that prevent return to preferred regions on the shore. Thus, dislodgement is often assumed to be lethal. We experimentally dislodged Littorina keenae snails from high in the intertidal zone to test the likelihood of survival. Under a variety of wave conditions, we measured return rates to the high shore of 54–90%, so in this species, dislodgement is not equal to death. Snails showed a strong preference for returning to the approximate tidal height from which they were dislodged, but we found no evidence of widespread homing behaviour back to the original site of dislodgement.
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