Common sea fan

Common sea fan

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Credit: ALEXIS ROSENFELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Common sea fan. Close-up of the branches (purple) and polyps (yellow) of the common sea fan (Gorgonia ventalina). A sea fan is a colony of tiny polyps, each of which secretes a tough rocky substance for protection and support. The combined secretions of the colony form a fan-shaped structure, which is always orientated at right angles to the prevailing current, presenting the maximum surface area to it. The polyps feed by filtering tiny food particles from the passing water. This sea fan can reach nearly two metres across, and is found to a depth of around 35 metres. Photographed off Andros Island in the Bahamas, in the Caribbean Sea.

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Keywords: andros island, animal, bahamas, biological, biology, caribbean sea, close-up, cnidarian, coelenterate, common sea fan, coral, fauna, gorgonia ventalina, invertebrate, invertebrates, marine, nature, polyp, polyps, sea fan, tropical, underwater, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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