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What are Sea Corals and Anemones?

Updated on November 2, 2016

Flower Animals

The sea corals and sea anemones are in a group called coelenterates. The anemones are known as flower animals because of their colorful tentacles that are bright red, purple, yellow, and green.

They appear the most spectacular at night, because this is when they feed. At feeding time their numerous tentacles are spread open and waving. Tiny animals that come within reach are pulled into their mouth.

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Sea Anemones

The Anemone's Skin and Body

The sea anemone's body is covered with a tough leathery skin to help protect it. Usually it attaches itself to shells or rocks on the sea floor. But it can also glide slowly on its broad foot, or base.

Anemone Size

The average height for an anemone is 18 to 29 centimeters. The largest is more than 35 centimeters tall and twice as wide. It lives in the warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia.

Sea Corals

Coral Protection

Some corals, like the sea anemones, have leathery skin. However, these corals have no stinging cells for protection. The corals protect their bodies by surrounding themselves with a rocklike substance. This substance is formed at the base, or foot, of the coral. It can protect itself by pulling into this house.

Coral Reefs

Each coral cements its house to its neighbor's. Over a long time, these rocklike houses form a coral reef. It takes millions of corals to make a reef.

Warm Shallow Water

Coral reefs are found close to islands in warm south seas. Most coral can't grow in water deeper than 45 meters or colder than 20* C. Therefore, most of it is found close to islands where the water is warm and not too deep.

Feeding at Night

During the day most of the corals stay hidden in their rock houses. At night they spread their tentacles to feed. As their soft bodies sway with the ocean currents, it looks to a diver like the whole reef has blossomed.

Fish Protection

A reef built up by coral soon becomes a home for many other kinds of animals. The reef is usually filled with caves, nooks, and crannies. Fish, shellfish, and others hide in there for protection.

Sea Creature Comments

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Once, many years ago, I got to go snorkeling, and the coral was amazing - love this lens!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      The planet need eco-conservation efforts on an urgent basis, else we may get to see corals only on the internet and picture books! :( Thanks for your highlight.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Coral is now considered endangered and is under protection in many countries. Sad to see that these species are being threatened due to many causes, one being man-made.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      7 years ago

      I have a nice collection of sea coral pieces and even some coral jewelry. Coral is so beautiful, and even more so in its natural state. I just visited an aquarium in Orlando, with lots of coral and anenome displays.

    • CruiseReady profile image


      7 years ago from East Central Florida

      Your lens makes me want to go snorkeling again! Such an amazing world under the surface of that water!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love corals and sea anemones even though I have always had a hard time saying anemones. Nicely done.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Sea corals are treasure for the planet and in some part of the world endangered species. Due to sea -pollution and human intervention, they are dying. A beautiful topic for a lens.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Interesting lens, humans in general know so little about sea creatures. Thank you.


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