Anemones are first known animals to follow the sun like plants do

A snakelocks anemone in a laboratory tank

Vengamanaidu Modepalli

Photosynthetic anemones do something that was thought to be limited to plants until now: they orient themselves towards the sun, following its daily movement across the sky. These are the first known “heliotropic” animals.

Vengamanaidu Modepalli at the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth, UK, noticed that the snakelocks anemones (Anemonia viridis) in an aquarium at his institute were all pointing their tentacles towards the sun streaming in through a nearby window. When Modepalli closed the shutter, the anemones’ tentacles promptly fell into a …


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