In Coral Reefs: The Sea Anemone

Sea anemones are stinging polyps that spend most of their time attached to rocks on the sea bottom or on coral reefs, waiting for fish to pass close enough to get ensnared in their venom-filled tentacles. With more than 1,000 sea anemone species found throughout the world’s oceans at various depths, the largest and most varied occur in coastal tropical waters. They run the full spectrum of colors and can be as small as half an inch or as large as 6 feet across. Some anemones, like their coral cousins, establish symbiotic relationships with green algae. In exchange for providing the algae safe harbor and exposure to sunlight, the anemone receives oxygen and sugar, the bi-products of the algae's photosynthesis. They form another, more famous symbiotic alliance with clownfish, which are protected by a mucus layer that makes them immune to the anemone's sting. Clownfish live within the anemone’s tentacles, getting protection from predators, and the anemone snacks on the scraps from the clownfish’s meals. ................................................................................. #science #biology #nature #animals #education

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