Hard coral

Hard coral

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Credit: ALEXIS ROSENFELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Hard coral. This is an Acropora sp. variety of hard coral that is known as table coral for the flat-topped shape it forms. This may be a way to get the maximum exposure to sunlight, needed for photosynthesis. Coral reefs support extensive and diverse marine ecosystems. Corals themselves are tiny animals that live in colonies, and form hard calcium mineral structures, like the one seen here. Photographed in the Red Sea, at St John's Reef off the coast of southern Egypt.

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Keywords: acropora sp., animal, biological, biology, cnidarian, coelenterate, coral, fauna, hard coral, indo-pacific, invertebrate, invertebrates, marine, nature, ocean, one, polyp, polyps, red sea, reef, sea, single, st john's reef, table, tropical, tropics, underwater, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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