Sea fan

Sea fan

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Credit: MATTHEW OLDFIELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sea fan smothered in algae. In areas with lots of intensive agriculture, high levels of nitrates in the run off can produce blooms of algae, resulting in the death of the corals and the reef itself. Sea fans are soft corals. They consist of a colony of small polyps supported by a strong and flexible endoskeleton made of the protein gorgonin. The individual polyps feed by filtering zooplankton from the water. To increase its catch the fan positions itself so that its flat surface is perpendicular to the water currents. Photographed in West Papua, Indonesia, Asia.

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Keywords: agricultural, agriculture, algae, animal, asia, biological, biology, cnidarian, coelenterate, colony, coral, devestation, endoskeleton, farming, filter feeder, immobile, indonesia, invertebrate, invertebrates, local economy, local industry, marine, melithaea sp., nature, polluted, pollution, sea fan, sessile, smothered, smothering, soft coral, suffocating, tropical, underwater, west papua, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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