Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Aggregating Anemones

We saw sea anemones (here's how to pronounce anemone) for the first time, outside of pictures or at the aquarium, last summer at Sunnyside Beach in Steilacoom, WA on a day when there was a low tide. They were at the base of a rock and weren't covered by water, so their tentacles weren't sticking up and waving around, and we didn't recognize them at first.  They look a lot different when water isn't covering them. I love how the oregontidepooling.com website describes them:
When the tide is in and they are under water, sea anemones look rather like beautiful flowers. . . .  As the tide recedes, sea anemones force water out of their body cavities, retract their tentacles, and fold inward to survive the low tide, transforming themselves into very unattractive, globular or pendulous masses. . .
I think the kind that we usually see is called the aggregating, or clonal, anemone (Anthopleura elegantissima). According to the the oregontidepooling.com website, the "Aggregating Anemones can grow to 4" in diameter, live up to 50 years, and reproduce by dividing in half (cloning). Each colony is composed of identical cloned Aggreating Anemones."

Here is a link to the page about sea anemone's on the Enchanted Learning website:
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/invertebrates/seaanemone/Seaanemoneprintout.shtml

And here are some pictures of aggregating anemones (as far as I know, at least, that is what they are ;)) taken over the past year. . .

Taken at Sunnyside Beach on July 13, 2010

Sunnyside Beach on June 13, 2010

Sunnyside Beach on June 13, 2010

Sunnyside Beach on June 13, 2010

Taken by my son at Sunnyside Beach on July 13, 2010

Taken by windchime
at Kopachuck State Park on July 17, 2010

Taken by windchime
at Kopachuck State Park on July 17, 2010

Taken by windchime
at Kopachuck State Park on July 17, 2010

Taken by windchime
at Kopachuck State Park on July 17, 2010

South Beach at Chambers Bay on Sept. 25, 2010

South Beach at Chambers Bay on Sept. 25, 2010

South Beach at Chambers Bay on Sept. 25, 2010

Chambers Bay South Beach on Sept. 25, 2010

Sunnyside Beach on March 22, 2011
See how the sand sticks to them when
  the tide is down and helps camouflage them?

Chambers Bay Beach on April 19, 2011
Usually we find them by the rocks, but that day
we were surprised to find them away from the rocks. . .

That day we found them in this area of the beach.
I told my kids that I wondered where the sea anemones 

were, and they pointed them out to me.
I had been walking right by them without realizing it!

Chambers Bay Beach on April 19, 2011

Chambers Bay Beach on April 19, 2011

Chambers Bay (South) Beach on April 19, 2011
I think this is the biggest one was have seen. You can see my
son's hand for comparison to see how big the sea anemone is.
(above picture taken by my older son)

Chambers Bay Beach April 19, 2011
(above picture taken by my older son)

Sunnyside Beach June 14, 2011

Sunnyside Beach June 14, 2011 - close-up crop of above photo
~*~
This post is my "A" entry for ABC Wednesday! :)

4 comments:

  1. A wonderful collection. I've seen a few and always find myself mesmerized.

    Linda

    ABC Wednesday Team

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  2. Oh my goodness, what a tour that was. I agree what a collection of wonderful pictures.

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  3. I love the pictures. And the pronunciation guide. I love words with more syllables than I'd expect, like epitome.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

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  4. Beautiful images and descriptions of amazing creations. By the way, I've just drawn to a close my days of home-schooling after 17 years of amazing joy and wonderment shared with my children - enjoy every moment; it flies away so quickly. x

    ReplyDelete