Sea fan

Sea fan

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Credit: ALEXIS ROSENFELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Giant gorgonian sea fan (Subergorgia hicksoni). This giant sea fan, a type of soft coral, is found in shallow waters in the Indopacifc. It consists of a colony of small polyps, supported by an strong and flexible endoskeleton made of the protein gorgonin. The colonies can exceed diameters of 1.5 metres. The individual polyps feed by filtering zooplankton from the water. To increase its catch the fan positions itself so that its flat surface is perpendicular to the water currents.

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Keywords: africa, animal, aquatic, biological, biology, carnivore, carnivorous, colony, coral, egypt, endoskeleton, fauna, filter feeder, giant gorgonian sea fan, gorgonin, immobile, indopacific, invertebrate, invertebrates, marine biology, marsa alam, nature, ocean, polyps, red sea, reef, sea, sessile, soft, subergorgia hicksoni, underwater, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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