Fire coral

Fire coral

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Credit: ALEXIS ROSENFELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fire coral (Millepora tenella) with the tentacles of its polyps seen (white, feathery structures). This coral is named for the painful sting it can give. The fire coral is not a true coral, but instead a colonial hydrozoan. It is important in coral reef building because its branched colonies form fairly large calcium carbonate structures (or coral). This "coral" is laid down by the tiny hydrozoan polyps, and it is these polyps that administer the sting. Photographed in the Red Sea, off the coast of Egypt.

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Keywords: animal, biological, biology, cnidarian, coelenterate, colonial, colony, fauna, fire coral, hydrozoan, indo-pacific, invertebrate, invertebrates, marine, millepora tenella, mineral, nature, ocean, one, polyp, polyps, red sea, reef, sea, single, stinging, tentacle, tentacles, tropical, tropics, underwater, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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