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Venus Flytrap of the Sea Anemone

Ananta F. Benvenuto Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Actiniaria
Family: Actinoscyphiidae
Stephenson, 1920
Genus: Actinoscyphia
Stephenson, 1920

"Stunningly beautiful but deadly," the Gulf of Mexico's Venus flytrap anemone (pictured) acts much like its terrestrial namesake, stinging its prey with an array of tentacles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Venus flytrap sea anemone is a large sea anemone resembling a Venus Flytrap. It closes its tentacles to capture prey or to protect itself.

That wonderful monster of the deep, dear Neatoramanauts, is the Venus flytrap sea anemone (Actinoscyphia sp.) from the Gulf of Mexico. Its name is derived from two land plants (the carnivorous venus fly trap and the flower anemone), but it’s actually a type of polyp, related to corals and jellyfish.

Photograph by I. MacDonald, Felder, D. L. and Camp, D. K. (eds.) 2009. Gulf of Mexico­Origins, Waters, and Biota. Vol. 1. Biodiversity. Texas A&M Press, College Station, Texas.

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