Dendronephthya soft coral

Dendronephthya soft coral

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Credit: GEORGETTE DOUWMA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Soft coral. Close-up of the polyps (red) and spicules (white) of a Dendronephthya sp. soft coral. Each polyp is a single organism, which filters plankton from the water using its tentacles. The polyps form a colony for protection and support. Unlike the hard corals, soft corals such as this do not secrete a rocky calcareous substance, instead forming their colony from a matrix of spicules (crystalline needles) embedded in the coral tissues. Photographed in the Egyptian Red Sea.

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Keywords: animal, biological, biology, close-up, cnidarian, coelenterate, coral, dendronephthya sp., egypt, fauna, invertebrate, invertebrates, many, marine, marine biology, multiple, nature, polyp, polyps, red sea, soft coral, spicule, spicules, tropical, underwater, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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