Brown gorgonian and California golden gorgonian on underwater rocky reef below kelp forest, Catalina Island. Gorgonians are 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: Brown gorgonian, California golden gorgonian, Muricea californica, Muricea fruticosa
Location: Catalina Island, California
Image ID: 37292