Gorgonian and Juvenile Sheephead Wrasse, Muricea californica

California golden gorgonian and small juvenile sheephead fishes on rocky reef, below kelp forest, underwater. 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. San Clemente Island, USA, Muricea californica, natural history stock photograph, photo id 37095
California golden gorgonian and small juvenile sheephead fishes on rocky reef, below kelp forest, underwater. 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. San Clemente Island, USA

Species: California golden gorgonian, Muricea californica
Location: San Clemente Island, California
Image ID: 37095
Format: Digital 3:4
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