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Monday, April 14, 2014

Just four millimeters!


Eric and I continued our exploration of Bull Kelp holdfasts through March.  At the end of the month, we discovered this tiny sea anemone nestled deep inside one of the holdfasts.  It's hard to tell from the picture, but the anemone is only 4 mm across!

We're still looking at all of the characteristics, but at this time we're leaning towards calling this Aulactinia incubans.  If you've been following this blog, that species name might sound familiar.  We found a couple of adults last spring — see the post called "Mesmerizing" on 10 May 2013.

It's fascinating to think about this sea anemone, which broods its young in its tentacles, rafting along the shore in kelp holdfasts and drifting into new habitat. 

Here's one more view of this juvenile as it started to extend its tentacles.  The white stripes on the oral disc are just beginning to form.


P.S.  It seemed liked this would be an appropriate post for today a 4 mm diameter anemone on 4/14/2014.

1 comment:

Alice Chan said...

Such a beautiful creature!