The Giant Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea) is a marine (saltwater) anthozoan cnidarian in the Stichodactylidae family of sea anemones. It is an animal, not a plant.
The Giant Carpet Anemone is a polyp with folds of many tentacles around an oral (mouth) disc. It is dense with short, sticky tentacles. It can be various colours, such as brown, green, purple, pink, or blue. It is sessile – it stays in one location on the sea floor; it does not move.
It grows lengthwise, like a carpet, to about 50-80 centimetres (20-31 inches) long.
It is found in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. It prefers to live in shallow lagoons and reefs with seagrass or in sandflats.
The Giant Carpet Anemone reproduces sexually and also by longitudinal fission whereby two sides of the anemone draw apart, tearing it in half. The torn away pieces become new individuals.
Location of photographs: Parc Zoologique de Paris in Bois de Vincennes, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM