Galaxy coral

Galaxy coral

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Credit: ALEXIS ROSENFELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Galaxy coral (Galaxea fascicularis). This hard coral consists of colonies of individual animals called polyps, which build the coral around them to form a protective skeleton. The coral is identifiable by its hard spikes surrounded by the soft tentacles of the polyps. The tentacles have nematocysts (stinging cells) that are used to catch small prey as they swim past. Once stung, the prey is moved to the opening of the polyp's gullet by the tentacles. The polyp may also feed by filtering zooplankton from the water.

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Keywords: animal, aquatic, biological, biology, calcium carbonate, colony, coral, fauna, galaxea fascicularis, galaxy coral, immobile, invertebrate, invertebrates, many, marine, multiple, nature, nematocyst, nematocysts, ocean, polyp, polyps, sea, sessile, skeleton, sting, stinging cells, underwater, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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