anemones

Simple, But Complicated: All About Aggregating Anemones

Anemones
Anemones

They’re carnivores. And their harpoon-like tentacles are filled with powerful venom. If aggregating anemones grew bigger, divers would have reason to be very afraid. But thankfully, the anemones remain relatively small and their tiny harpoons (nematocysts) cannot penetrate our skin deep enough to deliver toxin to our bodies’ pain receptors. I learned these facts, and a few others, while researching this article. For instance, did you know that their tentacles can fire venomous miniature harpoons that repel predators and anemones unlike themselves? That a “demilitarized […]

Harboring a Soft Spot for The Harbor Seal

Some marine creatures are easier to love than others. Two of my favorites are the little white sea urchins that decorate themselves with shells and pebbles and the proliferating (also called brooding) anemones whose babies live on their bodies until they are old enough to crawl away and fend for themselves. That anemones could have parenting skills is amazing. I also have a soft spot for harbor seals. Their teardrop shaped bodies are adorably plump and those big round eyes make them seem shy and […]

The Horn Sharks, Heterodontus: A “Different” Kind

Back in my early days of diving, a couple of men I knew sported necklaces featuring a single horn shark spine. Luckily, the days of West Coast divers killing harmless sharks for jewelry didn’t last long.  Horn sharks (Heterodontus francisci) are members of the order Heterodontiformes (bullhead sharks) and the family Heterodontidae. The genus name, Heterodontus, comes from two Greek words meaning “different teeth” and the species name, francisci, is derived from San Francisco, though these sharks rarely venture that far north.  Heterodontidae is a […]

Cnidarians Known as Hydroids: Animals Looking Like Plants

Once again we dive into Cnidaria, a large phylum that contains approximately 10,000 species. Phylum members include many animals that attract attention because of their bright colors: sea anemones, corals, sea pens, gorgonians and jellyfish. These creatures can afford to flaunt their beauty because most of them have defensive polyps loaded with nematocysts (also called cnidocytes) that can fire venomous miniature harpoons. Lucky for us, most of these weapons are too tiny to penetrate our skin. Cnidarians currently belong to one of four classes: Anthozoa […]

Dream It, Do It

A blue whale, the largest creature to have ever lived, appears on the edge of visibility and then comes into view as it swims through a dense concentration of krill-like crustaceans upon which it feeds. Two male sarcastic fringehead confront each other, opening their gaping mouths as wide as they can in an effort to intimidate their opponent and claim their territory. Cruising in the open sea, a Pacific white-sided dolphin grabs a strand of free-floating kelp with its pectoral flipper as it swims by. […]

COPYRIGHT © 2019 CALIFORNIA DIVING NEWS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.Website hosted and managed by Make Me Modern.