Soft Coral : 4 species
Soft corals do not produce hard calcium skeletons like stony corals but instead spiny skeletal elements. It confers to these corals support and makes their flesh spiky in order to deter predators.
Soft corals are less dependent on photosynthesis than their stony counterparts, allowing them to grow in waters with less intense light. Polyps are usually long and efficient to catch every free floating food within reach, such as zooplankton. They are essential in the good functioning of the reef ecosystem and provide habitat for fish, snails, algae and a diversity of other marine species.
Giant Sea Fan
This specie can measure up to 2 meters wide. It has a flexible skeleton, growing in a unique plane and taking the shape of a fan.
The name of this coral refers to the inner skeleton color. Its external coloration is actually red, with white polyps. These corals do not hold algae in their tissues to feed them. They are not restricted to the lighter surface regions and can grow in deep areas with strong currents, which facilitate the zooplankton supply.
Red Whip Coral
Klunzingeri Soft Coral
These corals are arboreal. Their rubbery branches end with small knobs, making them look like broccoli. Polyps emerge and extend their tentacles at night to feed.
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