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Georgia-Pacific Cold Water Quest

Fish-eating anemone

Fish-eating anemone

(Urticina piscivora)

The fish-eating anemone is found in cold coastal waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean from Alaska to Southern California. It typically attaches to rocks from the low intertidal zone to depths of about 160 feet. This is a large anemone that can grow to be 8 inches tall and 10 inches in diameter. It has sturdy tentacles with which it captures shrimp and small fish.

The body (or stalk) of the fish-eating anemone is red without any spots. Its white tentacles are short and slender and may have red or pink tips. The tentacles are lined with minute stinging cells used to capture prey.

You will be able to actually touch a fish-eating anemone in the Cold Water Quest gallery.

Fun Facts

  • A small fish called the “painted greenling” sometimes will lie among the tentacles of a fish-eating anemone to seek protection, much like a clownfish does in certain tropical anemones.
  • The stinging cells or “nematocysts” contain a venom that will paralyze small prey animals but is harmless to people.
  • The anemone uses its tentacles to pass the prey into its mouth which is located at the center of the top of its body in the middle of the circle of tentacles.
  • Some anemones reproduce by splitting in half. Others grow up from pieces of the disk that is left behind sticking to the rocky surface when the anemone moves.
  • Anemones are a prized seafood in parts of the Mediterranean and the Indo-Pacific regions.
  • Download full fact sheet

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