Here Comes the Sun (Coral)

Many people think of corals as “plants” or “flowers;” it’s easy to do, given their brilliant colors and generally sessile nature. However, corals are animals, and while some are photosynthetic (like plants), many are carnivorous–including one of my favorites, the sun coral (Tubastrea sp.): The coral gets its name because, when open, it looks like the sun, with its mouth at the center. If you look, you can see the mouths (they look like slits when closed) on every polyp: The coral on the upper right is actually a child of that parent colony, as are these baby suns growing underneath my filter intake:

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