A marine creature, related to the jellyfish, corals, and other polyp animals. Correct classification would be class Anthozoa, family Actinidae. These creatures look somewhat like flowers, (specifically the anemone flower from whence comes its name), with a leather-looking base and tentacles branching out from around the single channel that acts as both mouth and excratory system. Predators by nature, they sting passing fish with their tentacles and drag them to their mouths where they are ingested.

Many varieties exist, the most common in captivity being the "bulb" anemonae, which has swolen, inflated tentacles that look like small round balloons, most frequently green or pink; the long-tentacled anemonae, which has exceptionally long and often colorful tentacles of pinks and purples; the "carpet" anemonae, which has very very short tentacles that form a large mass that looks like a spreading, slightly fuzzy, usually green carpet (visually similar to a leather coral); sebae anemones, which are usually white with pink or purple tips on their midlength tentacles; and the condylactus anemone, which looks like a long-tentacled anemones except they are darker in color, often have bright orange bases, and slightly shorter tentacles.

Most anemones form symbiotic relationships with clownfish. (Only the condylactus rarely does; it is native to oceans in which clownfish never populated). The clownfish have a slime layer which renders them immune to the anemone's sting, and will happily play and hide within these otherwise deadly tentacles. The anemone provides the clownfish, therefor, with shelter and protection from predators who will be stung. The clown, in return, will feed the anemone, grabbing small pieces of food and placing them gently by the anemone's mouth. Clowns and anemones often form a fairly strong pair-bond and the clown will attack any other clown (save its mate) that tries to live in their private anemone.

Care and feeding of a captive anemone in a saltwater aquarium: anemones need blue light to live, much like their relatives the corals. They are not nearly as light-sensitive and will live in much poorer light, but they need that blue wavelength.

*If* you have a clown for each anemone, and they've all paired off, you need only feed the clowns. But if they haven't paired, if you have an antisocial clown (species like gold maroon and tomato will attack any other clown in the tank), condylactus anemones, or just more anemones than clowns, you need to feed. Once or twice a week place between half and a whole cube of frozen brine shrimp near the mouth of the creature. For larger animals, put part or all of a silverside instead.

The scientific name for sea anemone is Heteractis malu/Calliactis polypus.

Anemone is pronounced “uh NEHM uh nee”, much to my immediate dismay, I always thought it was spelt 'anenome' and pronounced as such. Sigh. It sounds better that way.

Sea anenomes are known as the flowers of the ocean, however they are not plants; they are pretty little carnivores. Here are some neat little facts about the sea anemone:

  • They grow to about five to seventeen centimetres long, but there are giant ones who grow to around three feet long.

  • The greater part of anemones are either male or female but some are hermaphrodites. They reproduce via sexual reproduction, in which anemones release the age old eggs and sperm. These produce free-swimming larvae. They also reproduce by lateral fission, in which a duplicate animal sprouts out of the anemone's side. The babies stay connected to the adult until they are mature enough to go out on their own.

  • If a sea anemone is torn apart by rocks, for example, each part then becomes a new sea anemone.

  • Sea anemones have very few predators, but these include some fish, sea snails, the grey sea slug, the sea star and the nudibranch.

  • The sea anemone's relatives are corals, hydroids, jellyfish, sea fans, sea pens and sea pansies.

  • The sea anemone lives in rock crevices and in very low depths of water, as well as hermit crab shells.

  • Sea Anemones often remain in same place for several days, weeks or even months. When they do move however, they do so in the following ways:
    • They glide around on their basal disc so slowly that the movement can only be made certain by noting a change of position in aquaria, or by using time lapse photography. They are also known to do somersaults, bending over to grip their substratum with their tentacles. When they let go by their base, they flip over to take hold of a new point, beyond where they were initially. Some species lay on their side to glide along.

    • They fill with air and let go with their foot so that they can float away with the tides and be taken to a new location. This event is seen in aquaria when conditions become unfavourable, for example if temperature become too low for their liking.

  • If sea anemones go a long time without food, they shrink. They can survive for a long time without food however, and will gradually diminish in size until they are quite small. This may be one of the reasons these creatures live such long lives, sometimes even up to one hundred years.

  • My favourite thing about the sea anemone is that when it becomes frightened, it turns into a glob of jelly :)

a bunch of facts were obtained from school.discovery.com

Sea" a*nem"o*ne (?). Zool.

Any one of numerous species of soft-bodied Anthozoa, belonging to the order Actrinaria; an actinian.

⇒ They have the oral disk surrounded by one or more circles of simple tapering tentacles, which are often very numerous, and when expanded somewhat resemble the petals of flowers, with colors varied and often very beautiful.


© Webster 1913.

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