Sea Anemone

Sea Anemone


Sea Anemone looks like a flower, but it's actually a carnivorous animal that eats small fish and shrimp.


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Sea anemones are the marine, predatory animals of the order Actiniaria. They are named after the anemone, a terrestrial flowering plant, because of the colorful appearance of many. Sea anemones are classified in the phylum Cnidaria, class Anthozoa, subclass Hexacorallia. As cnidarians, sea anemones are related to corals, jellyfish, tube-dwelling anemones, and Hydra. Unlike jellyfish, sea anemones do not have a medusa stage in their life cycle.

Sea anemones are typically predators, ensnaring prey of suitable size that comes within reach of their tentacles and immobilizing it with the aid of their nematocysts. The prey is then transported to the mouth and thrust into the pharynx. The lips can stretch to aid in prey capture and can accommodate larger items such as crabs, dislodged mollusks, and even small fish. Stichodactyla helianthus is reported to trap sea urchins by enfolding them in its carpet-like oral disc.

A few species are parasitic on other marine organisms. One of these is Peachia quinquecapitata, the larvae of which develop inside the medusae of jellyfish, feeding on their gonads and other tissues, before being liberated into the sea as free-living, juvenile anemones.


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