First Known Sea Anemone Found That Lives Upside Down in Sea Ice

In an underwater image, Edwardsiella andrillae anemones protrude from the bottom surface of the Ross Ice Shelf. (For scale, the two red dots are 10 centimeters apart.)

Where else would a species that spends its life upside down live but in the Southern Hemisphere? The newly discovered Antarctic sea anemone resides in burrows dug into the bottom of sea ice in the Ross Sea, where it lives a mysterious existence.

The discoverers are unsure of what it eats, how it reproduces, or even how the anemone—an opaque-white creature with a stringy body topped by delicate-looking tentacles—excavates its burrows. But they are sure that it’s a species new to science, and they describe it in a recently published study in the journal PLOS ONE.

The study authors, led by Ohio State’s Marymegan Daly, also write that the new species is the first anemone found to live in sea ice, rather than stuck to hard surfaces like rocks or reefs. The find points to the hardiness and variety of life, even under the frigid ice shelves of Antarctica.

Read the full story here.

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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