How do sea pens defend themselves?
When touched, some sea pens emit a bright greenish light; this is known as bioluminescence. They may also force water out of their bodies for defence, rapidly deflating and retreating into their peduncle.
What is an orange sea pen?
Ptilosarcus gurneyi, the orange sea pen or fleshy sea pen, is a species of sea pen in the family Pennatulidae. It is native to the northeastern Pacific Ocean where it lives in deep water anchored by its base in sand or mud. It has received its common name because of its resemblance to a quill in a bottle of ink.
How did sea pens get their name?
Sea pen, any of the 300 species of the order Pennatulacea, colonial invertebrate marine animals of the class Anthozoa (phylum Cnidaria). The name sea pen derives from their resemblance to quill pens. They occur in shallow and deep waters from polar seas to the tropics.
How long can sea pens live?
100 years old
Sea pens are a type of octocoral, or soft coral, which are related to jellyfish and anemones. They may not get as much love as their glamorous cousins, the reef-building hard corals, but sea pens are fascinating creatures that can live to be 100 years old, glow in the dark and live in the soft sediments of Puget Sound.
Why is sea pen important?
As a consequence, sea pens are regarded as an important indicator of the quality of mud habitats and associated communities (Macdonald et al., 1996), relevant to environmental legislation such as the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD; 2008/56/EC).
What animals eat sea pens?
Their major predators are nudibranchs and sea stars, some of which feed exclusively on sea pens. During the daylight hours Sea Pens usually bury themselves into the sand, and come out at night to capture plankton.
Can sea pens move?
Sea pens are adapted for life on soft sea bottoms. Here, they can dig into the ground for support. They retract completely into the soft ground when alarmed or at low tide. It is said that they can move along the bottom by looping their bodies.
How does a sea pen live?
They live at many depths from shallow waters down to deep seas in tropical and temperate waters worldwide. They prefer deeper waters where turbulence is less likely to uproot them. Sea pens can have a chunky, more club-like appearance or have a feather-like appearance. Sea Pens share many features with Soft Corals.