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