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Hot off the presses, check your local library (probably need to check at a school w/ Marine Biology program). Interesting since we talk so much about anemones and related large single-polyped corals.



Mechanosensitivity in the model sea anemone Nematostella vectensis
Journal Marine Biology
Publisher Springer Berlin / Heidelberg
ISSN 0025-3162 (Print) 1432-1793 (Online)
Issue Volume 156, Number 10 / September, 2009
Category Original Paper
DOI 10.1007/s00227-009-1243-9
Pages 2129-2137
Subject Collection Biomedical and Life Sciences
SpringerLink Date Monday, July 06, 2009


Original Paper
Mechanosensitivity in the model sea anemone Nematostella vectensis
Glen M. Watson1 , Patricia Mire1 and Katherine M. Kinler1

(1) Department of Biology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LA 70504-2451, USA

Received: 25 April 2009 Accepted: 15 June 2009 Published online: 5 July 2009


Abstract: Tentacles of the sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis, are covered with hair bundles. Hair bundles were deflected by water jets to test whether they are mechanoreceptors. Electrophysiological recordings confirm that deflections of hair bundles induce transients in membrane current. In a different species of anemone, hair bundle mechanoreceptors are known to change shape and responsiveness according to the activity of chemoreceptors that bind prey-derived compounds including N-acetylated sugars. In Nematostella, hair bundles significantly elongate upon exposure to NANA, an N-acetylated sugar. Based on a bioassay in which discharged nematocysts are counted in gelatin-coated test probes touched to tentacles, we find that NANA shifts vibration dependent discharge of basitrich nematocysts to lower frequencies overlapping those produced during swimming by known prey including planktonic crustaceans. Furthermore, we find for the first time that vibration detection extends at least 2.5 cm beyond the tentacle tips. Thus, Nematostella likely employs its hair bundles to detect swimming movements of nearby prey.
 

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Basically its saying that anemones can "sense" the prey near them...
 

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A description of a possible proximity sensing system, interesting since they are fairly simple animals having no eyes and ears r nose in the sense that we have and use those organs. For groups of simple cells, a lot of reef animals have pretty fascinating methods for prey capture and defense of self and or turf :D
 

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I love the science of it - amazing solutions to the problems of life

I never get tired of seeing how other creatures solve their problems of life, in this case the anemone's need to catch prey that clearly has speed up on the anemone.

(1) Does the anemone sting anything passing close enough? That would use a lot of resouces for little return. No, the adaptation is to sense (chemically, "N-acetylated sugars") food passing by.
(2) The sea anemone senses (chemically increased nematocyst discharge in response to detected prey chemical) 2.5 cm beyond the tip of the tentacle. Compare that to human sense of touch and it looks like an improvement to me.

Now you've set me wondering about what tricks and adaptations the prey have come up with over time to avoid sea anemone detection.

I look forward to owning a healthy clownfish or two in the fully cycled future. I have to admit that I haven't a clue how an anemone hosts the clownfish without thinking it prey. I'm sure researchers know but I haven't read about it yet.

So thanks for the abstract.
 
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