Sea Anemone, Anthopleura elegantissima, lives in The Sea Ranch tide pools. At low tide he is often just a squishy blob (top picture), but when there is enough water over him, he is the bright green animal with a ring of short tentacles that will be found lurking in the corner of the tide pool. He is fixed to the rock underneath his body by an adhesive on his foot. He can move from place to place by squirming along the rock or by disengaging from the rock and swimming to a new spot, but he rarely chooses to do that. He can reproduce both sexually and asexually, but you are going to have to go to the books to find out how - we don't really understand it. The fascinating thing about asexual reproduction is that it can be seen as growth rather than reproduction. If you look at it that way, a tide pool full of Sea Anemone might be immortal.

Sea Amemone lives with it's relatives in a colony. When an unrelated Sea Anemone impinges on his space, he uses his tentacles to attack the intruder. The tentacles are able to transmit a stinging poison that damages the body of the invader. The two will go at it until one decides to move away. (If you intend to watch one of these fights be prepared to stay a while. Everything that happens in the tide pool takes a very long time.) These same tentacles are able to stun small fish (like the one in the bottom picture) and crustaceans. Once paralyzed, the tentacles guide the prey into Sea Anemone's mouth. As you would guess, the mouth is that slit in the center of the body.

Sea Anemone

Sea Anemone

Sea Anemone

small fish is prey

Another fascinating thing about Sea Anemone is that he establishes a very close relationship with green algae. He gets his green color from them and, in return for hosting them, they provide him with oxygen and sugar which are byproducts of their photosynthesis. The beautiful green color makes Sea Anemone a possible candidate for some people's aquariums; but he is easily hurt, does not travel well, is particular about where he lives, and is difficult to feed, so we suggest leaving him in the tide pool.

When you first see Sea Anemone you might think that he is a plant.
He looks kind of like the flower that he is named after - Anemone.
In reality, he is a predatory carnivore just like Lion.