Anthopleura Sola Photos

Tentacles in the Sand
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Tentacles in the Sand

This is one of the first shots with my underwater housing for my camera. I've had it for a while and have not had a chance to use it. The extremely low tides this week were a good opportunity to go wading through the tidal pools taking pictures. 'Course, the water was so shallow they were all extreme close ups, but that's just fine with me.

These guys are really beautiful, they are related to jelly fish, but they stay on the bottom, usually anchored to a rock under the sand. The pretty colors come from a symbiotic algae living in their translucent tissues.

Sea Flower
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Sea Flower

The beaches in Santa Barbara are beautiful. And, if you time things just right when there is a really low tide you can see amazing things in the tide pools.

This is a Starburst Sea Anemone. And, contrary to the title of the image it is not a plant. It is actually a meat eating animal, a cousin of the Jellyfish.

The color however, is all plant (or mostly anyway). It comes from a symbiotic algae living in the translucent tissue of the animal and can range from blue-green, like this, to a much deeper green, or even near white if the animal lives in shade.

The rocks in the low tide around here can be covered with these. When they are in the air they fold their tentacles in and you can only see the outside which is covered with broken pieces of shell and rocks. So, if you are walking on the beach, and see a rock that seems to be covered with a bunch of broken shells, it is probably covered with Anemones just under the shells.

This picture is for my Mom. She has always loved tide pools and I have many great memories of wandering on the beach looking for exciting things at the edge of the water with her. Unfortunately, when she visited Santa Barbara, the tide was a little too high. Next time, we will check the tide charts first!