Hard coral

Hard coral

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Credit: ALEXIS ROSENFELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Hard coral. Corals consist of colonies of small animals called polyps, which feed by filtering plankton from the passing water current. 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 Indian Ocean.

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Keywords: animal, aquatic, biological, biology, calcium carbonate, coelenterate, colonial, colony, coral, coral reef, fauna, green, hard coral, indian ocean, invertebrate, invertebrates, marine, marine biology, nature, ocean, poly, polyps, sea, skeleton, tropical, underwater, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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