Thursday, August 16, 2012

Beach rescue

On the edge of a rocky pool, we found a sad lump of critter flesh, half-smothered in sand. It was about an inch across, firm but slippery, with no features or shape that I could distinguish. It seemed to quiver when I lay it on clean sand, but that was the only sign of life. After I watched it for a while, seeing no other movement, I brought it home to look at it more closely.

In a bowl of clean seawater, it gradually opened up.



It appears to be a small anemone. A quarter of its tentacles are gone and there is a hole (the white mark near the centre top) just behind where they should be. We are thinking that it was probably dug out by a bird and left for dead, uneaten.

I've been changing its water twice daily, and it opens and shuts as it is exposed to light and movement. It seems to be more responsive today; maybe it's healing. The stalk has tiny pebbles glued to the surface. Overnight, it has picked up a couple more.

I took advantage of its exposure to take a few macros:

Even the wounded area is beautiful.

Close-up of tentacles.

The stalk is polka-dotted, the mouth area green, with a pink border, edged by those grey and transparent tentacles. Decorated with hearts!

For Clytie.


7 comments:

  1. Wow - you're so observant! What a neat find - thanks for sharing the cool photos and story.

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  2. Regular updates, please! Hey, what is the status of your aquarium these days?

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  3. HEARTS I saw that right away, how appropriate

    I love your saltwater tank stories, I look forward to seeing how this little one gets on.

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  4. So, are you going to feed this little creature? If so, what? Too cool.

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  5. Great closeups. You have such a way with critters. - Margy

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  6. Sarah, The aquarium was poisoned by contaminated water from the White Rock beach, and everything died. Story here.

    biobabbler; So far, I've been providing it twice daily with fresh water from our beach or a beach close by: I think there are enough copepods and other plankton to feed it in the water. It's doing fine, so far, anyhow.

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