Some sea anemones can survive out of water! They simply tuck their tentacles into their bodies and cover their body in a protective slime.

Meat-eating flowers?

Named after flowers found on land, sea anemones are animals with a soft tube shaped body and a mouth surrounded by tentacles. These tentacles are packed with the same stinging cells as jellyfish and are used to catch their food.

Dinner time

Sea anemones eat small fish and other animals. Once captured, the food is passed by the tentacles into the sea anemone’s mouth. Any waste comes back out through their mouth, as sea anemones have one body opening – not two!

Body Base

Sea anemones may have a pointed base for burying in the sand or a sucker like base to attach to rocks.

On the move

Sea anemones glide through the sand by moving the base of their body. Some sea anemones use their tentacles to walk or swim, while others float by folding their body base and trapping bubbles of air.

Its war!

Sea anemones compete for space and food. If an anemone grows too close to another one, they will inflate their tentacles and release poison darts from their stinging cells.

Security Systems

The stinging cells of sea anemones protect anemonefish from predators and give them a safe place to lay their eggs. In return anemonefish keep sea anemones clean and healthy. They may even chase away anemone eating butterflyfish.

Slimes the secret

Anemonefish can live in an anemone without being stung because they are covered in a protective slime.


Magnify a sea anemone’s stinging tentacles in AQWA’s Creatures up Close exhibit!