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Picture Scramble # 128 28 August 2001

Brain Coral

The ridges of the brain coral, (Colpophylia natans), are truly a work of art. (36 pieces)

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If you look carefully you may see the tiny round mouths of the individual polyps. Two species of brain coral occur at the Flower Gardens - the other is (Diploria strigosa), which has smaller spaces between each ridge, and does not have the pronounced ridge running down the center of the primary ridge. This picture is an example of what the coral looks like during the daylight hours. At night the tentacles of the polyps will extend to feed on small particles in the water.

A special thanks goes to the National Marine Sanctuaries and to Frank and Joyce Burek for providing this photo. Copyright © 2000-2007 by Calvin J. Hamilton & Randall L. Whipkey. All rights reserved. Privacy Statement.