macro photography

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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…

They look like a cross between a caterpillar and a tricked out centipede. They crawl about with considerable agility, they are voracious feeders, and they certainly know how to defend themselves. Meet the Bearded Fireworm (Hermodice carunculata), a free-moving marine Polychaete worm. This species is widely distributed from the Caribbean, throughout the warmer waters of…

Even the clearest water has at least some particles suspended in it — sand, silt, plankton, who knows what — and most of the time, in most places, the water isn’t really all that clear. In fact, during a plankton bloom or after a storm that has caused a lot of runoff, you might just…