Soft coral

Soft coral

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Credit: ALEXIS ROSENFELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Soft coral (Alcyonium sp.). Soft corals differ from the more familiar hard corals in that the polyps do not produce a rocky, calcium-rich protective layer. Instead, soft corals are a gelatinous mass supported by disjointed internal skeletons. Each polyp has eight tentacles (seen here) that collect particles of food from the water to feed.

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Keywords: alcyonium sp., anchored, animal, biological, biology, cniderian, coelenterate, colony, coral, fauna, invertebrate, invertebrates, marine, nature, ocean, polyps, sea, sessile, soft coral, tentacles, tropical, underwater, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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