Coral polyp mouth

Coral polyp mouth

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Credit: MATTHEW OLDFIELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coral polyp mouth. Close-up of the mouth (pink, centre) of a hard coral polyp (class Anthozoa). This marine invertebrate uses its tentacles (not clearly seen) to catch plankton from the water, which it then passes to its mouth. The polyp secretes a hard skeleton for protection and support. The vast rock-like reefs produced by colonies of polyps form the basis for diverse marine ecosystems. Photographed off Mantanani, Malaysia.

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Keywords: animal, anthozoa, close-up, cnidaria, cnidarian, coelenterate, coral, hard, indo-pacific, invertebrate, invertebrates, malaysia, malaysian, mantanani, marine, mouth, nature, ocean, oral, polyp, sea, tropical, underwater, wildlife, zoology

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