<p>Colorful clownfish swim among an array of sea anemones. Anemones appear in an enchanting variety of shapes and colors, but these simple invertebrates are essentially tubelike animals. One end of an anemone’s body is attached to or dug into the seafloor, while the other hosts a mouth surrounded by tentacles.</p>

Clownfish and Anemones

Colorful clownfish swim among an array of sea anemones. Anemones appear in an enchanting variety of shapes and colors, but these simple invertebrates are essentially tubelike animals. One end of an anemone’s body is attached to or dug into the seafloor, while the other hosts a mouth surrounded by tentacles.

Photograph by Paul Nicklen, National Geographic

Sea Anemones

Many of these colorful ocean “flowers” are actually venomous predators. But anemones also live in symbiotic harmony with several other species.

Read This Next

What drives elephant poaching? It’s not greed
How old are you, really? The answer is written on your face.
The rise of vegan safaris

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet