Volume 5    Number 5

Sea Rod Coral and Elephant Ear Sponge,
at Aquarium Reef, Grand Turk

Sea Rod Coral and Elephant Ear Sponge, Aquarium Reef, Grand Turk

Corals and Sponges are among the most important animals on the reef. Here you can see two examples in the same picture.

The long white brances are a colony of Corals called a Sea Rod Coral. The branches are like tall skyscraper apartment buildings. That is, holes along the branches are like windows and rooms where the animals live. You can see a great close-up photo of the individual animals of a related species called Sea Whip Corals on the ReefNews Guide to Corals.

The Sea Rod Coral colony in this picture was about 3 feet tall.

And the huge orange mat is an Elephant Ear Sponge. Like all sponges, Elephant Ear Sponges are animals. The sponge pumps sea water through the body of the colony. The little holes across the sponge are where the water flows in and out. The individual cells that make up this colony can catch their food out of the water flowing through the sponge.

This Elephant Ear Sponge was about 4 feet across.

You can learn more about Corals and Sponges on the ReefNews website. Please visit these ReefNews web pages:
    ReefNews Index to Corals - for more about both corals and sponges
    Hawksbill Turtle - an animal that eats sponges

ReefNews photographer Jonathan Dowell took this photo using a Canon A2 camera with a 28-105 mm zoom lens in an Ikelite housing. The photo was taken on June 27, 2002 at a reef called The Aquarium near the north end of Grand Turk.

Please visit the ReefNews Guide to Grand Turk to learn more about this Caribbean island:
    Grand Turk - Jewel of the Caribbean



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