Finger coral

Finger coral

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Credit: DIMITRIS NEROULIAS/LOOK AT SCIENCES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Finger coral (Porites compressa). Corals consist of colonies of individual animals called polyps (not seen). The polyps are simple creatures, with a ring of tentacles leading to a gullet. Hard corals, such as the finger coral, secrete calcium carbonate, which forms a protective skeleton around the polyps. When the polyp dies the skeleton remains and new polyps grow on top of it, forming a coral reef. Photographed in the Red Sea.

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Keywords: animal, aquatic, biological, biology, calcium carbonate, cnidarian, coelenterate, colonial, colony, fauna, finger coral, hard coral, indo-pacific, invertebrate, marine biology, mineral, nature, ocean, porites compressa, red sea, reef, sea, sessile, skeleton, stony coral, tropical, tropics, under water, underwater, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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