|More Ocean Resources
The colorful animals called Sea Anemones are also commonly called sea flowers.
Despite the name, they are animals in the Actiniaria order.
Sea Anemones are related to jellyfish, sharing similar feeding habits. Their tentacles contain a toxin that can paralyze small fish and other creatures that come into contact with it.
The picture of the anemone at the top shows the tentacles on the sides of the creature with a circular mouth part in the center (there is a small stick in the mouth). Once the anemone captures prey it moves it to its mouth.
Sea anemone habitat varies. Many species around the world live along the rocks in coastal tide pools. When the tide goes out it is often easy to walk around the area in search of them.
Anemones come in a variety of colors and sizes. Approximately one thousand species have been documented. Of those, about ten species live in harmony with fish, specifically clownfishes.
Look, but don't touch, should be your guide if you meet up with them. Many species have stings that produce ill effects on humans. Without touching them, you can still check to see the material they attach themselves to. It could be a rock, or a piece of wood, or even a crab shell.
Picture two shows the aggregating anemone, Anthopleura elegantissima, a clone of the anemone world.
They reproduce asexually, literally splitting in half, repairing the damage, and consequently creating two anemones with the same DNA.
Aggregating anemones inhabit rocky tide pools along the West Coast. The picture shows the anemone's column covered with small stones and shells attached. The short tentacles can have various colored tips, including red.
At low tide the anemone closes us, displaying only the column. Because they often congregate in large numbers, they can look like a bunch of green lumps on their tide pool rocks.
© 2007-2011. Patricia A. Michaels