Sea fan

Sea fan

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Credit: MATTHEW OLDFIELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sea fan (Subergorgia sp). This sea fan, a type of soft coral, is growing on the wreck of the USAT Liberty, an American World War II supply ship. The coral consists 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 Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia.

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Keywords: animal, aquatic, bali, biological, biology, carnivore, carnivorous, colony, coral, endoskeleton, fauna, filter feeder, giant gorgonian sea fan, gorgonin, immobile, indonesia, indopacific, invertebrate, invertebrates, marine biology, nature, ocean, polyps, reef, sea, sessile, soft, subergorgia hicksoni, tulamben, underwater, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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