For thousands of years, Native Americans lived in small groups of 25 to 50 people. There were two cultures, the Atakapas and the Karankawas. The Atakapas lived in the northern part of the Texas coast, and the Karankawas lived in the southern part. Both cultures hunted ducks and geese and moved around to different locations for various foods. The Karankawas lived on the coast during the fall and winter eating fish and oysters.
Wildlife in the wetlands include millions of migratory birds, such as geese, songbirds and ducks, winter here. In the Texas Gulf Coast region, there are spoonbills, sea turtles, fiddler crabs and alligators. Fiddler crabs get its name from the way it moves its extra large front claw in a back-and-forth motion like a “fiddler” playing a violin. You will find them in the tidal pools or burrowed at the beaches.
Year after year, the roseate spoonbills settle in colonies along the Texas Gulf Coast. Using their spoon-shaped bills, they scoop up water and strain it through their bill, and eat the remaining frogs, plants and small fish.
The Texas State shell is the lightning whelk, found only on the shores of the Gulf Coast. It is called the lightning whelk because of the shell's colored lines. When the Native Americans lived on the Texas Gulf Coast, these heavy shells were used as tools. The carnivores lightning whelk eats oysters, clams and scallops.