Physical Characteristics of a Sea Anemone

Physical Characteristics of a Sea Anemone
••• Magnus Larsson/iStock/GettyImages

Predatory sea anemones -- scientific name Actinariums, part of the phylum Cnidaria -- are found in all of the world's oceans and seas. Related to jellyfish, sea anemones can deliver a painful sting to people and other animals unlucky enough to come into contact with one. These creatures adhere to rocks and do not move very often.

Size

Sea anemones can vary in size, depending on the species in question as well as the location of the anemone. At their smallest, sea anemones can be around the size of a pinhead. The biggest sea anemones found to date are 3 feet in diameter. The largest varieties are Stoichatis and Discoma; the biggest anemones tend to be found in warmer, tropical waters rather than in harsh, cold climates.

Composition

Sea anemones have a soft, simple polyp-style body with two tissue layers and a central gut cavity. The anemone's "mouth" leads to its gut. The "mouth" of the anemone is surrounded by stinging tentacles which are used to disarm food -- such as plankton and small animals -- and to disable enemies. Anemones, related to corals, do not share corals' hard exoskeleton structure.

Weight

The largest sea anemones -- the ones found in tropical waters that can have mouths up to 2 feet across -- can weigh as much as 440 lbs. On the other end of the spectrum, tiny quarter-inch anemones can weigh almost nothing. Small inch-wide anemones weigh around 40 g, or .022 lbs.

Colors

The most colorful species of anemones are found in warm waters, where anemones tend to thrive. At these warmer temperatures, scientists have discovered anemones of all colors of the rainbow. Some of these anemones are fluorescent shades of orange, purple, pink and green. In colder waters that are more difficult for sea anemones, the anemones tend to be duller, dimmer colors; browns and grays are the usual colors of anemones in the West Coast's Pacific Ocean, for example.

Related Articles

Jellyfish Adaptations
List of Herbivores in the Ocean
A List of Pelagic Fish
What Are Some Adaptations of a Sea Cucumber?
The Types of Reptiles in Vietnam
What Do Mahi Mahi Fish Eat?
List of Animals That Emit Their Own Light
Difference Between Starfish & Jellyfish
Types of Stingray Fish
How Do Seahorses Breathe?
Facts About Brain Coral
The Morphology of Algae
Difference Between a Mole & a Shrew
How to Identify Spiders Found in Indiana
What Animals Live in the Mesopelagic Zone?
Animals That Live in the Bottlenose Dolphin's Habitat
What Is the Function of Air Bladders in Seaweed?
Facts About Eels for Kids
How Many Protons Does Calcium Have?

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!