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Pom-pom anemone

Pom-pom anemone

Not on Exhibit

Animal Facts

  • Scientific Name

    Liponema brevicornis

  • Animal Type


  • Diet

    plankton and other drifting food

  • Size

    to 10 inches (25 cm) across

  • Relatives

    other sea anemones; corals

  • Habitat

    Deep Sea

  • Range

    soft, muddy seafloor at depths of 330-3,300 feet (100-1,000 m)

Natural History

A pom-pom anemone takes on a variety of shapes—from low and flat to round and puffy. In fact, scientists have seen puffed up anemones rolling across the seafloor like living tumbleweeds, "blown" by deep sea currents. Scientists aren't sure why pom-pom anemones change shape and roll around—they might be looking for "greener pastures," where there's more food to eat.


Anything that finds its way into the ocean, whether it's tossed away as trash, washes off a beach or falls off a boat, may eventually make its way to the deep sea. It's important to realize that the deep sea is not so far away that it's beyond the reach of human activities. Living creatures in the deep are affected by what we do at the surface.

Cool Facts

A pom-pom anemone's stinging tentacles capture crustaceans and krill swimming by.

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