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