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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