Mud flats are very delicate eco systems. Plants that can withstand saltwater on their roots delicately grow providing nutrients for the animal life that survives here. The animal life in this area is very limited, generally left to crabs and periwinkles and other very small animals of this nature. The area, with its low vegetation and high amounts of salt do not make a good living area for mammals. However, many birds like to come in and dine at low tide on the small marine life that is scurrying about.
Most mud flats are protected areas. They are crucial in protecting the shorelines from erosion and for the delicate food chain they supply. While the environment is often too harsh for larger animals to survive in, they do provide a food source for smaller marine life and birds, who eventually end up in the food chain themselves.
North american otter
Indian smooth-coated otter
Dugongs, manatees, and sea cows
Read more at the list of biomes of the world...