Friday 9 January 2015

Zebra-striped Gorgonian Wrapper

Image: Nick Hobgood
Nemanthus annamensis
Woooooow! What a wonderful melding of the classy and the garish! I'm sure I had a duvet cover just like this, though I would never admit it if you asked. It didn't have tentacles, though. I would BOAST about it if it had tentacles.

Image: Nick Hobgood
Unfortunately, we can't all cover our beds in a Zebra-striped Gorgonian Wrapper. It's a real shame because this Indo-Pacific sea anemone comes in a variety of styles and their colours range from white to orange. There's one to suit every home, no matter how classy or garish.

But no. Gorgonian Wrappers already use their cover skill on something else...

Image: Nick Hobgood
Gorgonians, naturally. Gorgonians are those are corals who are frequently composed of long, stringy branches covered in dainty polyps, each armed with 8 tentacles for catching plankton food. Colonies of Gorgonian Wrappers completely smother these branches. They wrap themselves around the slim limbs and keep a polite distance from their neighbours so that they can all unleash their dozens and dozens of tentacles.

Now, there isn't a great deal of information on these Wrappers but It seems likely to me that there's a lot of fission or budding going on here. One sea anemone splitting into two and four and more new sea anemones seems more likely than loads of them climbing up a coral and getting into position.

Also, I think (and rather hope) that all this occurs on the coral's empty skeleton, after it has died and all the polyps have departed. I like to think of this as a bunch of upwardly mobile sea anemones moving into some prime real estate rather than a giant massacre. Especially if they do end up as my duvet cover.


TexWisGirl said...

fabulously artful!

Crunchy said...

It's like when a mansion's abandoned and a bunch of homeless artists move in. I bet one of those guys is Banksy!

Anonymous said...

The first one looks like a decorative glass sculpture my friend's parents had in the 80's.

Anonymous said...

This thing is beautiful!

Joseph JG said...

@TexWisGirl: You could put it right up on the mantelpiece!

@Crunchy: Haha! They don't quite fit into their new surroundings. I'm sure it's back in fashion by now!

@stregajewellry: So true, someone should definitely make it!