Fire coral

Fire coral

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Credit: PETER SCOONES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fire coral (Millepora sp.). This organism is not a true coral, but instead a colonial hydrozoan that is closely related to jellyfish. It is named for the stinging cells (nematocysts) that it uses to paralyse its prey. These cells can inflict a painful sting to humans. Fire coral is important in building reefs; its branching calcium carbonate skeletons may reach tens of centimetres high. Photographed in the Red Sea.

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Keywords: animal, branch, branched, branches, branching, calcium carbonate, cnidaria, cnidarian, coelenterate, fire coral, indo-pacific, invertebrate, invertebrates, marine, millepora sp., nature, ocean, poison, poisonous, reef, sea, skeleton, sting, stinging, toxic, toxin, underwater, wildlife, zoology

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