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From a big family

More than 1,000 sea anemone species are found throughout the world’s oceans and survive at depths of more than 32,000 feet below sea level. The largest and most diverse varieties live in shallow tropical waters.

At the Aquarium

Underwater warriors

Some colonies of anemones fight other groups to protect their territories. They live in large “armies” near each other. “Scouts” look for space to claim. If an anemone from another group gets too close, “warriors” slap it with special tentacles that leave patches of stinging cells stuck to the intruder.

Help protect sea anemones

Though sea anemones are not endangered, pollution, over-collection, trampling by careless visitors and other human activity can have a negative effect on them. So tread lightly when you’re in their neighborhoods. Even the Pacific Northwest’s giant green sea anemone (about as big as a dinner plate) is vulnerable!

Quick Facts

These creatures can survive at depths of more than 32,000 feet.

Quick Facts

Though most anemones stay in one place, they can “swim” by flexing their bodies!

Quick Facts

A mucus layer protects clownfish from an anemone’s sting.

Explore More Invertebrates

An adult sea otter at the Seattle Aquarium looking upwards with its front paws resting on its front.

Giving Tuesday

Make a tax-deductible donation to the non-profit Seattle Aquarium

Your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000 thanks to a very generous anonymous donor!

Sea otter at the Seattle Aquarium laying on its back, raising its head and front paws.

Cyber weekend

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