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BartB

What animal is this?

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11338d1233922000t-zeekomkommer-onbekendbeestklein.jpg Okay, I know this is not a very interesting picture, but I would still like to know what the animal is. I found this during a night dive at The Alternatives in Egypt, at about 10 m depth. It did not appear to move in any way. I posted it on a Dutch scuba diving board, and nobody seems to know. Guesses so far include:

- A holothurian, with the body buried in the sand (my best guess)

- Upside down jellyfish

- Soft coral

- Anemone

 

Who can help?

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Umm... :)

I quess it's the ghost fish, since I can't see it :pardon:

 

Cheers

Scubamoose

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The forum you are linking from doesn't allow hotlinking of images outside it's domain. You need to be logged into to see attachments. You will want to save it and reattach it here.

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Yes, no picture, no id.... Host it here or somewhere else that is not password protected.

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Oh, shite. Forgot about that - because I can see it fine like this. Anyway, let's see if this works?

post-22352-1234619694.jpg

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Looks like a soft coral bottom up.

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Ok, Branching Anemone seems to be better, but still upside down. :-)

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I would go with an anemone rather than a upside down jelly fish or any of the other gueses.

 

Almost lookes like a starfish with the legs coming off !

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I believe it may be a deflated Cladelia sp. softcoral. The aquarium folks call that a "colt coral."

 

James

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Cladelia sp. also a interesting candidate, but then we should even look at Litophyton species (Poppe Image). On the right down part of the full size picture to id i find one open polyp. Is it possible to divide with this a anemone from a soft coral?

Edited by M.Henke

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noooo .. it can't be a soft coral, i just don't buy that.

 

in the middle there is a whole bunch of sand like where its mouth is, i figured it was either eating or burying itself.

man, I see the similarities but just seems so hard to believe it would be a coral.

 

I am going to be VERY interested to see what the result of this one is. Intriguing !

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To make sure which part i like to discuss, i cropped the picture:

post-14523-1234880537.jpg

I think the small thing in the middle is a open polyp. I have seen some like this at soft corals, but i am not sure, if it also look like this at some anemones.

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The way the polyps contract remind me of Capnella. Color looks like common Capnella too. The "sandy" part looks like the base of the coral to me, knocked off its rock. Check out Karen Fabricius' book to get a better idea of how to go about ID ing it. Some genus' polyps only contract, not retract etc...

 

http://www.nhbs.com/soft_corals_and_sea_fa...fno_108535.html

 

Cheers,

Wyatt

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After all the people mentioned soft coral, I approached a guy at the Dutch Natural History Museum who's the coral conservator there. Here's his reply:

 

'It seems like an Actinodendron anemone to me. Species in this genus alway look like a hard or soft coral, which causes confusion. Good thing you didn't touch it, because it gives a terrible shock.'

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@BartB

Can he confirm, that some anemones also have polyps like the one in the crop? This will be a interesting answers to me and it seems he is the right guy to ask.

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I quote:

 

'The similarity goes very far, even down to the polyp structure. I always recognize them at the very last moment, because the symmetry is too good for a soft coral. My former assistent once accidently collected one, mistaking it for a soft coral. Good thing he wore gloves. If it were a Capnella, that white spot in the middle would be the point of attachment, which would mean it's upside down. Soft corals don't do that; it's an anemone's mouth'

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@BartB

Thanks for the information about the polyp. So it is not possible to divide with this the anemone from the soft coral.

The symmetry is, also for me, a point for the anemone, but doesn't exclude a soft coral. Without the decision if it is a anemone or soft coral, it looks still upside down for me, because a anemone mouth looks different (black in the middle, colored rings, etc.). That a soft coral doesn't turn itself is clear, but this also can happen from a diver or turtle. So, i can not decide if it is a soft coral or a anemone.

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Yeah, some people on the Dutch forum aren't convinced either. If I knew this was going to be so difficult, I'd have taken more pictures of this one! Now I have no choice but to go back :)

Edited by BartB

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