Blacksmith Chromis, Garibaldi and California golden gorgonian on underwater rocky reef, San Clemente Island. The golden gorgonian is a filter-feeding temperate colonial species that lives on the rocky bottom at depths between 50 to 200 feet deep. Each individual polyp is a distinct animal, together they secrete calcium that forms the structure of the colony. Gorgonians are oriented at right angles to prevailing water currents to capture plankton drifting by.
Species: California golden gorgonian
, Hypsypops rubicundus
, Muricea californica
Location: San Clemente Island
Image ID: 30890