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Actinia: Characteristics and Lifestyles

Sea anemone, sea anemone, received its second name for its extraordinary beauty. This marine creature really looks like a beautiful flower. Unlike other coral polyps, sea anemone has a soft body.

According to the biological classification, anemones are a type of intestinal cavity, a class of coral polyps. They are closely related to jellyfish.

Actinia has a soft body compared to other coral.

To determine whether sea anemone is an animal or a plant, it is necessary to study the peculiarities of its structure. Actinia refers to the animal kingdom.

Her body has a cylindrical shape. From above it is decorated with a corolla of tentacles.

Sea anemones differ in a variety of colors. In nature, there are varieties of all colors and shades.

Many species have a contrasting color of tentacles, which makes these animals even more attractive.

The sizes of these intestinal cavities also amaze with a variety:

  • The height of the monogram does not exceed 3 mm;
  • the diameter of carpet anemone reaches 1.5 m;
  • The height of the type metridium sausage can be up to 1 m.

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The main part of the body – the leg – consists of muscles that are located along the ring and longitudinally. Due to contractions of these muscles, the polyp can bend and change its length. On the lower part of the leg there is a so-called sole.

Its surface in different species is arranged differently. Some with the help of the sole “rooted” in loose soil, others emit a special substance with which they are attached to solid surfaces.

In the genus Minyas, the sole is supplied with a pneumocystis – a special bladder that acts as a float and allows you to swim with the sole upwards.

Muscle fibers of the legs are surrounded by intercellular substance mesogly, which has a dense cartilage-like consistency and gives the body elasticity.

On the upper body there is an oral disc, around which there are several rows of tentacles. In the same row, all the tentacles are the same, but in different rows they may differ significantly in appearance and structure.

Each tentacle is equipped with stinging cells that emit thin poisonous strings.

The oral disc leads to the pharynx, and from there opens a passage into the gastric cavity – a primitive likeness of the stomach. The nervous system of the sea anemone is very simple, it is presented clusters of sensitive neurons around the oral disc and in the region of the sole:

  • nerve cells around the sole react only to mechanical action;
  • clusters around the mouth opening and tentacles distinguish the chemical composition of substances.

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Actinia is an intestinal organism widespread throughout the world. Most species can be found in tropical latitudes, but some species even live in polar regions, where the ambient temperature is very low.

In the Arctic Ocean lives metridium species, or marine carnation.

The depth of the animal habitat is also striking in its diversity. Actinia can live in the surf zone, where it falls on land at low tide hours, and in the very depths of the seas and oceans.

Some species have adapted to survive at a depth of more than 1000 meters. 4 species of these polyps were found in the waters of the Black Sea, and 1 species was found in the Sea of ​​Azov.

Shallow-water inhabitants often depend on photosynthesis, since microscopic algae settle in their tentacles. These species are common in places with good lighting and are active in the daytime.

Other species, by contrast, do not like bright light and tend to go to the depths.

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It feeds on sea anemone. These polyps can catch and perceive their prey in different ways:

  • some species swallow everything, including small pebbles and trash;
  • part of the anemone throws out all the inedible objects that they caught;
  • the largest and most predatory fish are caught and killed in the vicinity;
  • Some polyps live in symbiosis with algae and feed on them.

The “starved” sea anemone widely opens its tentacle-rays and catches everything that swims past it. After the sea anemone is saturated, it folds the tentacles into a ball and hides them.

The same reaction is observed when drying or approaching danger.

All actiniums are divided into three varieties:

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Sedentary varieties are so conditionally named because they can move slowly. Polyps begin to move when there is little food, too little or too much light. Movement can be done in several ways:

  • “Somersaults” – when the sea anemone sticks its mouth to the ground and tears off the leg, moving it to another place;
  • alternately lifting one or another part of the sole from the soil;
  • crawling, reducing the various muscles of the body.

The burrowing sea anemones sit most of the time, digging into the ground, so that only the rim remains outside. In order to make a hole for himself, the animal collects water into the gastric cavity and pumps it, delving into the soil in this way.

Floating species are kept in the water and given to the force of the current. They can move tentacles rhythmically or use pneumocysts.

Reproduction of sea anemones occurs in different ways. With asexual method, the body of the polyp is divided in the longitudinal direction with the formation of two individuals.

The exception is gonaktiniya – the most primitive type, which is divided transversely. In the middle of the polyp stem, a second oral opening forms, then two separate individuals form.

Some organisms multiply by budding from the lower part of the leg to form several new individuals.

These intestinal cavities are mostly dioecious, although it is impossible to distinguish the male and the female from each other by external signs. Sexual reproduction occurs in the following way:

  1. In the thickness of the intercellular substance formed sex cells.
  2. Fertilization can occur in the gastric cavity or in water.
  3. As a result, planules (larvae) are formed, which are freely carried by the flow over long distances.

Sea anemones can reproduce both sexually and asexually.

Although anemones are a type of single polyp, in some situations these organisms can accumulate and form giant colonies. Most of the sea anemones treat themselves like this indifferently, although some species can be very aggressive and quarrelsome.

Actinia can coexist very closely with other types of marine animals and plants. A common example is the symbiosis with a clown fish.

Actinia “eats” prey for fish, and that, in turn, cleans the polyp from debris and food debris.

Often small shrimps act as symbionts: they hide from enemies among the anemone tentacles and at the same time clean from organic debris and debris.

Adamsia actinias can live only in symbiosis with hermit crabs, which attach polyps to their shells. At the same time the sea anemone is positioned so that its oral disc is directed forward and food particles fall into it. Cancer, in turn, receives reliable protection from predators.

Changing the shell, the hermit will transfer to the new “dwelling” and actinia. If the cancer somehow loses “its” polyp, it may even take it away from its relative.

Such existence benefits both biological species.

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