Coral polyps

Coral polyps

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Credit: PETER SCOONES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coral polyps (Dendrophyllia sp.). The tentacles of the coral (yellow) are used in feeding by exposing them to water currents. They trap plankton particles from the water, which is then passed to the mouth. The polyps build tough structures of calcium carbonate around themselves for protection and support. Coral reefs form the basis of extensive marine ecosystems. Photographed in the Red Sea.

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Keywords: animal, cnidaria, cnidarian, coelenterate, coral polyps, dendrophyllia sp., invertebrate, invertebrates, marine, nature, ocean, red sea, tentacles, underwater, wildlife, zoology

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