Red gorgonian polyps. The red 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.
Species: Red gorgonian, Leptogorgia chilensis, Lophogorgia chilensis
Location: San Clemente Island, California
Image ID: 03480