Brain coral

Brain coral

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Credit: ALEXIS ROSENFELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Brain coral (Platygyra sp.). This hard coral is named for its convoluted skeleton that resembles the surface of a brain. It is also known as a maze coral. Corals consist of colonies of small animals called polyps, which feed by filtering plankton from the passing water current. Brain coral colonies can measure up to 1 metre in diameter. Hard coral polyps secrete calcium carbonate, which forms a protective skeleton around them. When a polyp dies the skeleton remains and new polyps grow on top of it, forming a coral reef. Photographed in the Red Sea.

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Keywords: animal, biological, biology, brain coral, calcium carbonate, coelenterate, colonial, colony, coral, coral reef, fauna, green, hard coral, invertebrate, invertebrates, marine biology, maze coral, nature, ocean, platygyra sp., poly, polyps, red sea, sea, skeleton, tropical, underwater, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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