California golden gorgonian, Catalina Island, Muricea californica
California golden gorgonian on underwater rocky reef, Catalina 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. Catalina Island, California, USA.