Category Archives: cnidarians

Man o’ war

Man o’ war

When an animal also goes by the floating terror, there are going to be a lot of expectations on it. Will the man o’ war live up to either of its dramatic names? You be the judge.

Well, actually, I will be the judge but please feel free to write your own score down at home and show it to no one.

Well, actually, I will be the judge but please feel free to write your own score down at home and show it to no one.

Special powers

The man o’ war is equipped with a venomous sting.

Weaknesses

It has an extremely limited capacity to move itself. It floats on the ocean surface, subject to the whims of the winds and waves. It can manipulate gases inside itself to sink a little and use a “sail” on its body to give itself some direction. That is better than a stupid plant, but pretty pathetic for an animal.

Number of legs

Not applicable.

Nemeses

The man o’ war particularly despises the blanket octopus for its immunity to its venom, the loggerhead turtle for having skin too thick to sting (and for eating the man o’ war on the regular), and Meghan Trainor for canceling her planned concert in international waters in the mid-Atlantic. To a lesser (but still substantial) degree, it also hates everyone who has ever lived.

What is its secret?

The man o’ war’s deep secret is that it is not actually a single organism, but instead a colony of specialized “zooids” which cannot truly function individually.

What if it fought a bear?

That bear’s getting stung. Unless the wind gently blows the man o’ war somewhere else.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

It planned on trying to sting Meghan Trainor; I just know it. Fortunately for her and all us would-be victims, its aggression is balanced by its inability to move sizable distances with purpose. It is by far the animal most like if a piece of day-glo driftwood was holding a poison-tipped shiv and seethed with hatred at all life.

 

3/10

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Sea anemone

Sea anemone

My copy of the Kingfisher Illustrated Encyclopedia of Animals calls the sea anemone “the best known of the so-called ‘flower animals.’” For several reasons, I’m finding it difficult to disagree with this assertion.

The sea anemone is the roommate of our old friend the clownfish. They like to think they make quite a wacky pairing, but their self-perceived zaniness far outweighs their actual zaniness. That said, they do keep a peppy bass beat on in the background when they’re both home and the sea anemone’s mouth and anus are one and the same, so they’re not entirely unzany.

Special powers

Its sharp wit.

Weaknesses

The sea anemone has no skeleton, which means it will never know the pleasure of drinking milk to give itself strong bones.

sea anemone

I’ve got strong bones, anemone, and you don’t. You got nothing on these bones.

It also suffers from low mobility and abysmal hustle.

Number of legs

No legs, but lots of tentacles.

Wikipedia’s Talk Page Says

“Also, there is a picture whose caption indicates two anemones are in ‘clone war’ but there is no description of what ‘clone war’ is, or maybe its vandalism, but I dont know enough.”

Indeed, years ago, the sea anemone served my father in the Clone Wars. Now he begs it to help him in his struggle against the Empire.

Varieties

The sea anemone comes in more flavors than jelly beans. These include:

  • Venus flytrap sea anemone:

    venus flytrap anemone

    Does what it says on the box.

  • Banded tube-dwelling anemone:

    banded tube-dwelling anemone

    A nightmare spider-squid.

  • Magnificent sea anemone:

    magnificent sea anemone

    Very full of itself. Was invented by Lewis Carroll.

  • Jewel anemone:

    it lived in a van a while

    The most poetic of the anemones, and a militant freegan.

  • Pale anemone:

    pale anemone

    And I looked, and behold a pale anemone: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.

  • Snakelocks anemone:

    Full name Snakelocks Percival Anemone II

    One of Harry Potter’s most fiendish nemeses.

  • Hidden anemone:

    One of the most elusive animals known.

    One of the most elusive animals known.

Is it a good roommate?

Yes.

What if it fought a bear?

Being outside the water might kill it before the bear could.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

I deduct six points for the pale anemone inevitably ushering in the apocalypse. But hey, good for it for cleaning its own dishes.

 

 

1/10

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