National Geographic : 1961 Nov
Oregon's Sidewalk on the Sea Instead of sense organs, these creatures possess only rudimentary tissues responsive to such stimuli as light, vibration, and touch. They are brainless, but simple intercom sys tems invisibly crisscross their soft bodies. Having no hard parts, they can shrink or swell enormously, attaining their form and size by varying their water content. Anemones show no conspicuous external sex differences. Generally the sexes are sepa rate. However, in a few species, single indi viduals produce both male and female cells, which mature at different times. The male cells, liberated into the water, penetrate other individuals, ensuring cross-fertilization. In most anemones the fertilized eggs pro duce free-swimming larvae that eventually attach themselves to rocks or other hard sur- faces. Other species reproduce by such means as splitting or growing buds that mature into a new generation of anemones. The creatures vary from minute to wash tub-size, and run a gamut of brilliant color ation. They inhabit all shores of the marine world, as well as the sea floor thousands of feet below the surface. Some species live less than a year, while others show astounding longevity. Several specimens in an aquarium at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, survived for more than 80 years. We kept our pets for more than a week, never ceasing to be struck by their glorious flowering, especially in the morning after a night undisturbed by children or visitors. When we made ready to leave Yachats, I Rocky remnants of vanished headlands rear above the breakers near Cannon Beach, a resort town. Popularly called sea stacks because of their shape, the islets survive the onslaught of wind and wave. Haystack Rock, one of the best known, towers 235 feet in the middle distance. Cannon Beach takes its name from a ship's gun dragged ashore fol lowing the wreck of the schooner Shark in 1846. These hikers in Ecola State Park take advan tage of a crystal day; haze often shrouds the coast. Ecola derives its name from a Chinook Indian word, ekoli, meaning whale. All but 23 miles of Oregon's Pacific shore is public-owned land.