Communication and Perception
If H. magnifica is attacked, it produces a chemical that is released into the water to warn other anemones that a predator is in the area. The anemone then contracts its tentacles into a ball form for protection.
Heteractis magnifica has no ears, eyes, or centralized nervous system. This anemone has nerves in the body wall that are able to communicate with other parts of the body and sense the environment around it. The species possesses three separate nerve "nets" that determine contraction of tentacles in response to the environment. The TCNN and SS1 pathways represent the fast and slow responses of tentacles to mechanical stimulation (for TCNN) and chemical stimulation for the SS1 pathway. Both nerve nets excite the ectodermal muscles via the stimulation of the multipolar nerve net that expands the body of the anemone. The SS1 nerve net, also called the ectodermal slow system, seems to also be responsible for the pre-feeding response (opening of the mouth), and the escape response.
Communication Channels: chemical
Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical
- McFarlane, I. 1984. Nerve nets and conducting systems in sea anemones: two pathways excite tentacle contractions in Calliactis parasitica. Journal of Experimental Biology, 108: 137-149. Accessed May 17, 2011 at http://jeb.biologists.org/cgi/content/abstract/108/1/137.
- McFarlane, I., I. Lawn. 1991. The senses of sea anemones: responses of the SS1 nerve net to chemical and mechanical stimuli. Hydrobiologia, 216-217 (1): 599-604. Accessed May 17, 2011 at http://www.springerlink.com/content/p4g80340xv072645/.
- Mrvos, R. 2003. "Flowers of the Sea" (On-line). ViaTouch.Com. Accessed May 17, 2011 at http://www.viatouch.com/learn/teacher/articles/sci_sea_anemone.jsp.