Giant Anemone

The C. gigantea, also known as the Giant Caribbean Sea Anemone was photographed by Mark Vermeij on a reef near Westpunt on Curaçao, CARMABI, Curaçao.Did you know that anemones are marine animals? Anemones may appear plant-like and seemingly ‘rooted’ to the benthic zone, making it a passive species, co-existing with fishes and crustaceans by deploying symbiotic relationships. The anemone provides shelter for these organisms, which in turn feed of any unwanted organism by keeping the immediate environment clean. Surmounting to the species richness and diversity in the marine realm, the Giant Anemone, Condylactis gigantea, is the largest anemone in the Caribbean.

Also known as the Giant Caribbean Sea Anemone, the pinked-tipped anemone may also come in variations of lavender, yellow or occasionally white at the slightly enlarged tentacle tips. The long tentacles could grow across to a diameter of over 30 cm (~11.8″) with a whitish body blended with tints of gray, brown, yellow or green. Considered a solitary species, the Giant Anemone is a common reef dweller harbouring down to a depth of 30 m (~98 ft) and also can occur in shallow grass beds in lagoons.

Underwater photography can certainly be stunning when the subject captures all your attention in a single snap shot. But how easy can it be to go underwater to captivate such a pristine specimen in its natural environment? Well, thanks to the excellent underwater photographers of the Dutch Caribbean we can enjoy such beauty featuring the C. gigantea as a reef species in its entire splendor.

 Sources:
Marine Species Identification Portal
Marine Invertebrates of Bermuda (by Marianna Zahra, Dr. James B. Wood Editor)