Saturday, February 11, 2017

Cloning is easy!

There were four pink-tipped green anemones in my aquarium. Now there are five.

Two anemones, January 22

Same two, February 5th. The one in focus is stretching out.

February 6. Starting the split.

February 7. Two half-mouths.

February 8. Now each half has a complete circle of tentacles.

February 9. Just holding hands now.

And they've stayed that way, just touching, for the last two days. Each one feeds on its own, and reacts to stimulus (like a poke from a hermit's foot) independently.

Aggregating anemones live on rocks in tide pools and crevices, either alone or in dense masses. Each mass is a group of clones that are genetically identical and of the same sex. To clone themselves, anemones split in half—literally tearing themselves apart (asexual reproduction). Asexual reproduction spreads new animals rapidly over rocks. Aggregating anemones also reproduce sexually by broadcasting eggs and sperm. Sexual reproduction results in new combinations of genes, and larvae that establish new colonies in other locations. (From Monterey Bay Aquarium)

Clones can live jammed tightly together; when they meet another anemone with a different genetic makeup, they fight with poisoned darts, even if they originated from the same parents. Sibling rivalry at it's worst!


  1. "...a poke from a hermit's foot..." No wonder they don't like hermits!hahaha.
    I almost want to have another tank, until I remember the work involved and the time available!But I cam come over to yours and enjoy them.

  2. I did not know they did this!


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