California Golden gorgonian polyps. The golden gorgonian is a colonial organism composed of thousands of tiny polyps. Each polyp secretes calcium which accumulates to form the structure of the colony. The fan-shaped gorgonian is oriented perpendicular to prevailing ocean currents to better enable to filter-feeding polyps to capture passing plankton and detritus passing by.
Location: San Diego, California
Image ID: 37205
Colorful dendronephthya soft corals and various hard corals, flourishing on a pristine healthy south pacific coral reef. The soft corals are inflated in strong ocean currents, capturing passing planktonic food with their many small polyps.
Species: Dendronephthya soft coral, Dendronephthya
Image ID: 31605