Time-Lapse Tidepool

Teeming with anemones, giant greens if you want to get specific, it’s a pool with a lot going for it. Its water is clear as crystal, and tucked away, sheltered from winds, there isn’t a ripple. Its strangest characteristic, though, is its see-through surface, free of diabolical reflections and all the better for surveying its…

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Windows into the World Below

A mussel-festooned reef frames up the sky above and the sand below. In the foreground, a sand-filled tide pool fills another frame. Its surface is a window into the world below. Lying on my belly, the view discloses intimate anemone details. Windows into the tide pool world are rarely this clear, and never for long.…

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Anthopleura on the Rocks: A Collage of Competing Clones

There are places where Anthopleura elegantissima covers the intertidal rocks. It’s not an overstatement. But the covering isn’t unbroken. There are narrow open spaces between patches. Patches of A. elegantissima are clones of genetically identical polyps. Adjacent clones fight, culminating in anemone-free aggression borders. Notice the unoccupied borders in the photo below, from April 2017. If, in the…

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Anthopleura elegantissima Lives Up to All Its Common Names

Aggregating anemones, Anthopleura elegantissima, don’t mind a little crowding. They seem to need it. You’ll find them packed column-to-column. They cloak tide pool rocks so densely you might be fooled into thinking you’re looking at bare rock. It’s not until you take that first squishy step that you discover your mistake. Anthopleura elegantissima is genuinely an…

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Aggregating Anemones Handle the Sand

It’s just a narrow strip of low lying rocks. It barely sticks out of the sand – takes a pounding from the surf and periodically gets buried by building sands. I have walked past these rocks for years without paying much attention. That’s not surprising; they don’t look too promising. By promising, I mean big…

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