Sea Anemones- Outer Hebrides - Marine Creatures - Wildlife Photos
Western Isles - Hebrides Sea Anemones - Beautiful creature, look very much like flowers - however they are actually predatory animals. They come in all manner of shapes, sizes and colours and can be seen in many rocky pools on the Hebridean beaches - especially as the tides goes out and the pools are left for you to view.
Click the pictures below for larger images
Sea Anemones Facts
Sea Anemones - Predatory Animals
Sea Anemones - thought really to be the flowers of the sea - although really they are Predatory Animals They may look like plants but they are meat eating animals. Sea anemones are primitive animals consisting mostly of a column with one opening, the mouth, used to ingest food and also to get rid of waste. Anemones out of water will usually have their tentacles retracted into their bodies to prevent drying, and may appear to be little more than wet, squishy lumps.
Diet of The Sea Anemone
The sea anemone eats shrimps and small fish, mussels, plankton etc. Their "prey" is caught in the animals deadly stinging tentacles - which are to be found along with their mouths on the top of their bodies. The tentacles eject poisonous stinging threads which paralyze the prey and grasp small animals, sweeping the animals into their mouths Even though the sea anemone can’t move, it is really clever in the way that it eats. The sea anemones lures the prey close, or it accidentally comes in reach. It then shoots poisonous darts shoot into its prey till it is stunned and killed - when finally, the tentacles bring the prey to the mouth of the anemone. and it then enjoys its feed.
No Skeleton at all - Creep along on suction foot
The sea anemones have no skeleton at all. They attach themselves to objects - like the rocks in the sea or pools or coral - sometimes they attach themselves to hermit crabs who are messy eaters and the anemones "pinch" bits of food that the crab is eating.
Sea Anemones usually don't move around much at all - although there are some species that move around much in the same way that hydras do. Some creep along on the suction foot. Some sea anemones actually perform somersaults - whilst others swim by flexing their bodies. They inflate and let the tides and currents take them into a new location.
Produce Light as a Defence Mechanism
Anemones produce light and when an enemy comes in contact with an anemone colony - the light gets brighter.
Clown Fish - Sea Anemone - Relationship - Safety - Cleaning
Some fish also have special relationships with sea anemones - the clown fish being one such example - it spends its life among the sea anemone’s stinging tentacles. So the sea anemone helps keep it safe whilst in return the clown fish chases away predators that potentially could eat the sea anemone. The clown fish may also help keep the sea anemone clean.
Long Life - 60 - 80years
Sea Anemones have long lives - sometimes 60 - 80 years. They do not age - which ultimately means that potentially they could live indefinitely - however in practice - most fall foul of predators before reaching old age.
Sea Anemone Description
Sea anemones range from a few centimetres to over a metre in diameter. Some sea anemones are fluorescent, glowing green under UV light. This fluorescence may work like sun block, by turning harmful UV light into less harmful green light, which is less damaging to the anemone's tissues. these creatures come in all manner of shapes, colours and sizes.
The reason anemones are often so colourful is because many sea anemones contain zooxanthellae.. Zooxanthellae are a type of algae and it is the pigments produced by the algae that gives colour to many corals and sea anemones.
Sea Anemones eggs are usually fertilized in the gastric cavity and the young are released through their mouths when they are free swimming larvae that then find something to attach themselves to. Depending on the species, sea anemones reproduce through sexual or asexual reproduction. Asexual reproduction of anemones takes place by the sea anemone splits itself into two different anemones. Sexual reproduction takes place by anemone species that release sperm and eggs. Many anemones are hermaphroditic - possessing both sperm and eggs within the same individual.
No Visible Sense Organs
Sea anemones have no visible sense organs and yet they do know what is edible and what is not. If you were to drop a piece of paper onto its tentacles, a sea anemone would grasp it and then cast it aside. However if you soaked the paper in clam juice, the sea anemone would grasp, then swallow the paper, because it tastes like food. (Of course this method was only used by scientists and you should not replicate it)