Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thick and thin

"Val", the big green anemone in my tank, has grown to about 4 inches tall, and the same distance across the tentacles when she's waiting for food. Most of the time, these days, she stands tall above the sand, making a cave  for lurking hermit crabs.

She's a pale, greyish green, with darker stripes and white spots on the tentacles. But the column is more a pale blue-grey.

She glues bits of stone and shells to her column, not enough to serve as protection against pincers and knocks, nor, as the experts tell me it's for, to keep her from drying out at low tide; for that, she buries herself. But does she need a reason? It's what she does.

The top, or collar of her column.

When she captures an especially tasty morsel, a shrimp or piece of clam, she drags it quickly into her mouth and pulls in the tentacles after it. If she is not fast enough, one of the big hermits is bound to climb onto her oral disc and start a tug-of-war over the prize. (She never eats the hermit.)

Closing down, she exposes the top of her column, still blue-grey, and covered with rows of knobby protrusions. No shells stuck here, though.

Zooming in to get a better look at these nodules, I captured something unexpected: the delicate red seaweed beside her, against the light.

The light exposes the individual cells of each branch.

1 comment:

  1. That last image is simply amazing!!! I love the whole series! Especially as I remember what Val looked like when you brought her home!!


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