Fossil coral, thin section

Fossil coral, thin section

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Credit: DIRK WIERSMA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Thin section of fossil coral, close-up. Each of the circular structures is the remains of a single polyp's skeleton. Corals are colonial marine organisms that live in shallow seas. They secrete an external skeleton of calcium carbonate. Over time, these build up into vast coral reefs, each new inhabitant building on the empty skeletons of its ancestors. Magnification: x2 when printed 10 centimetres high.

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Keywords: animal, animals, calcium carbonate, close-up, coral, coral fossil, cross section, cross-section, detail, exoskeleton, external skeleton, fauna, fossil, fossil coral, fossil invertebrate, fossilized coral, fossils, geological, geology, invertebrates, nature, palaeontology, paleontology, polyp, polyps, section, sectioned, skeleton, slice, thin section, thin specimen, thin-section, zoological, zoology

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