A single sea anemone snuggled in a nest of sea weed and grasses n one of the many tidal pools along Asilomar State Beach on the Monterey Peninsula in California.
Sea anemones are a group of water-dwelling, predatory animals of the order Actiniaria. They are named for the anemone, a terrestrial flower. Sea anemones are related to corals, jellyfish, tube-dwelling anemones, and Hydra. The sea anemone Anthopleura sola often engages in territorial fights. The white tentacles (acrorhagi), which contain stinging cells, are for fighting. The sea anemones sting each other repeatedly until one moves.
The global trade in marine ornamentals for aquariums is rapidly expanding, and threatens sea anemone populations as the trade depends on collection from the wild, and the animals grow and reproduce relatively slowly.
Anemones tend to stay in the same spot until conditions become unsuitable (prolonged dryness, for example), or a predator attacks them. In that case, anemones can release themselves from the substrate and use flexing motions to swim to a new location.
Tide pools, or rock pools, are rocky pools on the sea shore which are filled with seawater. Many of these pools exist as separate pools only at low tide.
Many tide pools are habitats of especially adaptable animals that have engaged the attention of naturalists and marine biologists, as well as philosophical essayists: John Steinbeck wrote in The Log from the Sea of Cortez, "It is advisable to look from the tide pool to the stars and then back to the tide pool again."
Tide pools provide a home for hardy organisms such as starfish, mussels and clams. Inhabitants must be able to deal with a frequently changing environment � fluctuations in water temperature, salinity, and oxygen content. Hazards include waves, strong currents, exposure to midday sun and predators.
Asilomar State Beach is a state park unit of California, USA, providing public access to rocky coast and dune habitat on the Monterey Peninsula.
Asilomar (meaning "Asylum or refuge by the sea" and pronounced a-SIL-o-mar) is a portmanteau from two Spanish words: "asilo" and "mar.�
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March 15th, 2015
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