Corals

Photo Synthesis

Category archives for Corals

Scleractinian corals in many forms

Scleractinian corals, also known as stony corals — or just hard corals — are the primary reef builders in the oceans. Their polyps secrete calcium carbonate to form a skeleton. A minority of species live as single polyps, but most stony coral species are colonial, and the structures they build ‘grow’ over time. They form…

Sea fans are among the most beautiful sights seen by divers. Gorgonian sea fans are Cnidarians that build colonies in branching formations that usually are fan-shaped, thus the common name. Like the Nephtheid soft corals I wrote about recently here on Photo Synthesis, Gorgonians are octocorals: each polyp has eight pinnate tentacles which it uses…

Gimme shelter!

Many animals in the ocean seek shelter from predators by living on or among other animals. Among fishes, members of the Damselfish family (Pomacentridae) often seek protection this way. Some of these relationships also are commensal or even symbiotic. One of the most well known symbiotic relationships in the marine world is that between anemones…

It is probably safe to say that when most people think of colorful things in the sea, tropical reef fishes come to mind first, followed perhaps by nudibranchs or sea stars. While most reef fishes, nudibranchs and sea stars are not only colorful but beautifully patterned, as a photographer, my favorites among colorful things in…