Coral polyp mouth

Coral polyp mouth

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Credit: MATTHEW OLDFIELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coral polyp. Close-up of the mouth (black, upper right) of a mushroom coral (Fungia sp.) polyp. This is one of the largest coral polyps, reaching around 25 centimetres in diameter. It is unusual in being a solitary polyp, living alone rather than in the huge colonies formed by most other corals. Numerous tentacles are kept in the grooves and are extended to catch plankton to pass to its mouth. It is not sessile like most corals, and can move by inflating and deflating its body tissues. It inhabits the tropical waters of the Indo- Pacific region.

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Keywords: animal, cnidarian, coelenterate, fungia sp., grooved, grooves, groovy, indo-pacific, invertebrate, invertebrates, marine, mobile, motile, mouth, mushroom coral, nature, ocean, polyp, sea, solitary, underwater, wildlife, zoology

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