Fire coral

Fire coral

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Credit: ALEXIS ROSENFELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fire coral (Millepora tenella) with the white, feathery tentacles of its polyps visible. This coral, in fact a colonial hydrozoan, is built by tiny hydrozoan polyps for their protection. The polyps' tentacles are covered in nematocysts (stinging cells), which cause a painful sting. It is this sting that gives this coral its name. Fire coral is important in coral reef building because its branched colonies form fairly large structures on which other coral can be laid down.

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Keywords: animal, biological, biology, close-up, cnidarian, coelenterate, colonial, colony, fauna, fire coral, hydrozoan, invertebrate, invertebrates, marine, millepora tenella, mineral, nature, ocean, polyp, polyps, protected, protection, sea, stinging, tentacle, tentacles, tropical, tropics, underwater, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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