Caribbean Sea

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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…