Strawberry Anemone (Actinia fragacea)

…a species of Actiniid sea anemone which is found in the northeastern and eastern Atlantic Ocean. Its range extends from Norway, Scotland and Ireland to the Mediterranean Sea and North Africa, including the Azores, the Canary Islands and Cape Verde. Strawberry anemones typically inhabit the intertidal and sublittoral zone at depths less than 10 meters (33 ft). They are generally found attached to rocks and boulders. 


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Image: Nilfanion

Sea anemones are a group of water-dwelling, predatory animals of the order Actiniaria. There are more than 1,000 species of sea anemones found throughout the world’s oceans, many attached to rocks on the seafloor. Their bodies are composed of an adhesive pedal disk, a cylindrical body, and an array of tentacles. The tentacles are triggered by the slightest touch, firing a harpoon-like filament into their victim and injecting a paralyzing neurotoxin. 

Estefanía Rodríguez, Associate Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History is studying the fascinating varieties of anemones and other sea life in Antarctica. In 2014, Dr. Rodríguez discovered a giant anemone-like creature with tentacles reaching more than 6.5 feet long that actually belongs to an entirely new order of animals, demonstrating there is still much to be learned about polar marine life!

See anemones, penguins, and seals in Beneath the Ice, and immersive dome installation now on view in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, running through May 27.  

Image: Actiniae Seeanemonen from Ernst Haeckel’s Kunstformen der Natur

Lebrunia danae

…is an unusual species of Aliciid sea anemone that occurs in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. Like many sea anemones L. danae typically inhabits reef environments at depths ranging from 2-60 m. Unlike other sea anemones L. danae’s tentacles are hidden by a ring of six branching pseudotentacles around the oral disc. When L. danae comes in contact with a prey item to pseudotentacles will retract and the true tentacles (which are armed with nematoctsts) will take the prey and move it towards the mouth.


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Image: Fernando Herranz Martín


Spinnaker Anemone (Korsaranthus natalensis)

Also known as the candy-striped anemone, the spinnaker anemone is a species of Actiniid anemone which is endemic to the South African coast, where it occurs from False Bay to Durban. Spinnaker anemones are noted for being partly motile, as they use their parachute like disc to “sail” to different locations to prey on octocorals. 


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Image(s): Seascapeza