Sea pens are colonial marine cnidarians belonging to the order Pennatulacea.There are 14 families within the order; 35 extant genera, and it is estimated that of 450 described species, around 200 are valid. Habitat: Anchored in the soft bottom in sheltered areas. Branches are thick and fleshy with small polyps along the edges. Pennatulacea (Sea Pens) is a group of cnidarians.There are 229 species of sea pens, in 36 genera and 14 families. A female colony can release more than 200,000 eggs. Distribution: Probably widespread throughout the Caribbean. Most of the records we analyzed were in the central and northern Adriatic, declining in abundance southward ( Figure 2 ). After about a week of hatching, the free-swimming larva (planula) settle to the sea floor and metamorphoses to form the axial polyp of a new colony. Unlike sea anemones which are large solitary polyps, each sea pen is a colony of polyps. Rarely found above depths of 10 meters (33 ft), sea pens prefer deeper waters where turbulence is less likely to uproot them. Sea pens belong to the Subclass Alcyonaria (Octocorallia) that includes the soft corals. Obviously, the Sea Pen is not a real pen; however, they are named after the one sub-order which looks like those antique feather pens. Of the 12 Mediterranean sea pen species, six species (belonging to five genera: Funiculina, Pennatula, Pteroeides, Veretillum, and Virgularia) have been reported in the Adriatic Sea. This group has been around since the Upper Pleistocene Age.Sea Pens includes groups like Umbellulidae, Anthoptilidae, and Echinoptilidae.They have asexual reproduction and sexual reproduction.They are sessile animals. The sea pen is not actually one animal, but rather consists of many separate animals called polyps living in a colony. Unfortunately, there is only one group of Sea Pens that actually live up to this antique pen-like description. The orange sea pen is also preyed upon by some other sea stars as well as multiple nudibranch species, such as the opalescent nudibranch (Hermisseda crassicornis) and the striped nudibranch (Armina californica), seen attacking a sea pen in the image at right. Sea pens have a cosmopolitan distribution, being found in tropical and temperate waters worldwide, as well as from the intertidal to depths of more than 6100m. Sea pens are members of the same Class Anthozoa as sea anemones. Members of this subclass have tentacles which are branched and in multiples of eight. Sea-pens Virgularia spp. Description: Long slender sea pen with crowded leaves composed of autozooids of nearly equal size; leaves bilaterally arranged along the rachis. There are around 300 species of Sea Pens or Sea Pansies. The Sea Pen may grow up to 2 meters (6.6 ft) in some species, such as the tall sea pen (Funiculina quadrangularis) and are sometimes brightly colored. https://www.oceana.ca/en/marine-life/corals-other-invertebrates/ The other species have club-like structures, so maybe they should have called them Sea Clubs! Description: A sea pen with a fleshy lower part of stalk (lower left in the picture above), which is buried in the sediment.Upper part of central stalk (rachis) has a hard central support. In some sea pens while the eggs and sperm are released from the polyps in other sea pen species whereas external fertilization occurs. The polyps look look like miniature sea anemones each with eight tentacles. The common name “sea pen” and the group name “Pennatulacea” are from the resemblance of the species in some genera (such as Pennatula, Pteroeides, and Virgularia) to quill pens resulting from the possession of conspicuous polyp leaves. 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