Volume 7    Number 9

Sea Rod Coral Colony Perched Below Blue-Water Canopy

Sea Rod Coral Colony Perched Below Blue-Water Canopy

This picture shows a healthy colony of Sea Rod Corals perched atop a coralhead with the blue water of the surface of the Atlantic Ocean in the background. Sea Rod Corals are common throughout the Caribbean. Sea Rod Corals colonies are made of a cluster of branches made of a soft material surrounding a core of harder material rich in calcium. The individual animals in the colony, called coral polyps, live in the soft material from which they extend their tentacles into the water. These short tentacles are only about 1/8 of an inch long, but are enough to make the branches of the colony look fuzzy.

There are thousands of coral polyps in this picture. Each branch of this colony was about 10 inches long, and each branch was split into many smaller branches. Each little branch was covered by hundreds of coral polyps. How many big and little branches can you count in this picture?

ReefNews President Jonathan Dowell took this picture using a Canon 10D digital camera with a Sigma 18-50 mm zoom lens in an Ikelite housing with an Ikelite strobe.



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