By Blane Perun
Rate: (24 Ratings)
Part of the order Actiniaria and a cnidarians, the sea anemone lives in the water and preys on other sea animals. The sea anemone received its name after a flower that grows on land, which is simply named the anemone. Close relatives of the sea anemone include Hydra, jellyfish, corals, and tube dwelling anemones.
The sea anemone has an interesting appearance. It has a basal disc, which is like a sticky foot under the sac. The sea anemone has a round, long body that has an oral disc on the end. This oral disc contains the sea anemones mouth in the middle. There are many cnidocytes that surround the tentacles on the oral disc. Cnidocytes are helpful in fending off predators as well as capturing food.
The cnidocytes have cnidaie, which sting. There are toxins within the cnidae and it also has an external hair. If prey or anything else touches the hair then there is an explosion where the knife like element is released. It then strikes the prey and injects poison.
The toxins from the sea anemone are quite dangerous for its prey and aggressors. There are neurotoxins as well as other toxins mixed in the sea anemone’s poison. Once struck, the prey becomes paralyzed so the sea anemone can devour it. Most any prey or predator will be affected by the sea anemone’s poison. Crustaceans as well as fish seem most susceptible to it, although there are some clown fish that are not.
The sea anemone is not really a fighter, but will fight for its territory when necessary. The sea anemone has a gastrocascualor cavity that is like its stomach. There is only one outer opening and this is the sea anemone’s mouth and anus. This combo is conspired an incomplete gut. The sea anemone is able to maintain homeostasis and other responses thanks to a very limited nervous system.
The sea anemone has an interesting size range, and this is usually quite surprising to people. The sea anemone ranges from as tiny as a half an inch in diameter to as big as six feet in diameter! That is a huge difference. Another big difference is that the sea anemone can have hundreds of tentacles or as few as 10.
The sea anemone has something that is similar to muscles, but not quite. They are very simple and the "muscles" of the sea anemone are really more like microfilaments. Regardless of the sea anemone’s simplicity, it is a very interesting sea animal worth studying.