Thursday, May 08, 2014

Turning anemones into new friends

The 1,200 species of sea anemone cover the reefs of the world with flower-like beauty and nasty stings.  Scientists surveying the world's anemones (which for their own order) discovered that one of the biggest kinds - with tentacles 2m long - is a completely different animal. Relicanthus daphneae is the new same for Pacific species found in 2005.  It used to be Boloceroides daphneae, and it likes the neighborhoods around hydrothermal vents.  Turns out it's more closely related to coral than to anemones.   There are only some three dozen orders (some are disputed) in the entire animal kingdom, so this is a very big deal.

I am still trying to come up with a truly funny joke that ends, "With friends like these, who needs anemones?" Marvin in Finding Nemo only had the punchline. If you know a good one, let me know.

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