Definition for AN'I-MAL-FLOW-ER


In zoology, sea-anemone, sea-nettle or Urtica marina, the name of several species of animals belonging to the genus Actinia. They are called sea-nettle from their supposed property of stinging, and sea-anemone from the resemblance of their claws or tentacles, to the petals of some flowers. These are disposed in regular circles, and tinged with various bright colors. Some of these animals are hemispherical, others cylindrical; others are shaped like a fig. Some are stiff and gelatinous; others, fleshy and muscular; but all can alter their figure by extending their claws in search of food. These animals can move slowly, but are generally fixed by one end to rocks or stones in the sand. On the other extremity, is the mouth in the center, which is surrounded by rows of fleshy claws, and capable of great dilatation. They are very voracious, and will swallow a muscle, or crab, as large as a hen's egg. – Encyc. The term, Animal-flower, is also extended to many other marine animals, from their resemblance to flowers. They belong to the Holothurias, which with the Actinias, were ranged under the Molluscas, by Linnæus; and to the Tubularias and Hydras, which were classed with the Zoophytes. They are all arranged under the Zoophytes, by Cuvier. – Cyc.

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