Coral skeleton

Coral skeleton

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Credit: DIRK WIERSMA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coral skeleton. Corals consist of colonies of small animals called polyps, which feed by filtering plankton from the passing water current. When a polyp dies the skeleton remains and new polyps grow on top of it, forming a coral reef. Hard corals secrete calcium carbonate, which forms a protective skeleton around the polyps.

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Keywords: animal, biology, calcium carbonate, coelenterate, colony, coral, hard coral, invertebrate, invertebrates, marine biology, marine science, nature, one, polyps, single, skeleton, wildlife, zoology

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