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Corals & Anemones

Page 3

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Sea Whip (Muricea muricata)
Photo © Aris Entertainment

Sea Whip
(Muricea muricata)

The sea whip is a coral species that grows in clusters of long finger or whip-like shapes. They are usually pale tan or yellow in color, and are found throughout the tropical coral reefs of the Caribbean and the West Indies. The whips are covered with thousands of tiny anemone-like coral polyps, which filter nutrients from the water.

Sea Fan (Goregonian flabellum)
Photo © Aris Entertainment

Sea Fan
(Goregonian flabellum)

Sea fans are very closely related to sea whips. The main difference is that the sea fan takes on a more flat appearance where several offshoots intertwine to create a fan-like appearance. They are very common in the Caribbean region where they can be found in colors ranging from red to yellow and purple.

Red Cauliflower Coral (Dendronephthya rubeola)
Photo © Aris Entertainment

Red Cauliflower Coral
(Dendronephthya rubeola)

The soft red cauliflower coral is perhaps the most beautiful of all the corals. Common in the Indo-Pacific regions, this coral can be found in large numbers all along the rocky coral reefs. Its flowery translucent structure can range in color from bright red to deep orange. This nocturnal species feeds at night and contracts into a tight ball by day.

Sea Mat (Zoanthus pulchellus)
Photo © Aris Entertainment

Sea Mat
(Zoanthus pulchellus)

The sea mat is actually a small anemone-like soft coral polyp that grows in large colonies. Each polyp is about 1/4 inch in diameter, but the colonies can reach an area of several square feet. They can be found frequently covering rocks and dead coral skeletons on the coral reefs of the Bahamas and the West Indies.

Club-tipped Anemone (Corynactis californica)
Photo © Aris Entertainment

Club-tipped Anemone
(Corynactis californica)

The club-tipped anemone gets its name from the rounded growths on the end of its tentacles. This small 1-inch anemone is translucent and ranges in color from red to pink, orange, purple, and brown. It is commonly found near the rocky shores of the Pacific coast from Northern California to the Baja Peninsula.

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