Physical Description

The Sea Pen, scientifically known as Stylatula elongata, is a distinctive marine creature characterized by its elongated body, reaching heights of up to 40 centimeters and a total length of 60 centimeters. Its bulbous base is typically buried in sand or mud, providing stability in its habitat. The Sea Pen’s appearance is pale and flesh-colored, with tiny polyps featuring eight pinnate tentacles arranged in lateral leaf-like fans supported by spindle-like spines. The texture of the colony is rough and brittle, contributing to its unique aesthetic.


Abundant in sandy areas, the Sea Pen is commonly found dwelling in the depths of the Monterey region along the eastern Pacific coast. It prefers substrates of sand or mud, where it can anchor its bulbous base securely. Despite its abundance, it tends to inhabit deeper regions, where it can retract quickly and completely into the sand for protection.

Geographical Range

The Sea Pen’s geographical range extends from Marin County to San Diego along the eastern Pacific coast. Within this range, it occupies specific niches within the marine ecosystem, contributing to the biodiversity of coastal habitats.

What They Eat

Sea Pens are filter feeders, primarily consuming plankton and other microscopic organisms present in the surrounding water. They extend their tentacles into the water column to capture prey, drawing nutrients essential for their survival.