Created on Day 5
June 23, 2012
Some sea anemones have an important symbiotic relationship with algae species. The algae give the sea anemone oxygen and food; and the sea anemone gives the algae protection and food (via waste). Some other sea anemones have a symbiotic relationship with other creatures, such as crabs, shrimp, or clownfish.
- Sea anemones come in a variety of colors and shapes. However, each one is basically a small sac consisting of a column-shaped body that ends in an oral disc. In the middle of this disc is its mouth, which is surrounded by tentacles that are used for defense.
- The sea anemone has nematocysts (stinging cells) on its tentacles, which can be triggered when touched, releasing toxin into its victim.
- Most of the time, the sea anemone remains in one place. But if it is continually attacked by predators, it can detach its adhesive foot and swim to a new location.
- The sexes in sea anemones are separate and they can reproduce both sexually and asexually (by a process called budding).
CLASS: Anthozoa (anemones and corals)
ORDER: Actiniaria (anemones and sea anemones)
FAMILY: 46 different families
Size: Less than 0.5 in–6.5 ft (1.3 cm–2 m)
Diet: Fish, mussels, zooplankton, worms
Habitat: On rocks, ocean bottoms, and reefs worldwide