Antipatharian coral

This is an antipatharian or black coral. Antipatharian corals are solitary, their six-tentacled polyps being located in a skin-like coenenchyme that surrounds the spiny, horny skeleton of this coral. These corals can often be home to many invertebrate animals. Crawling and attached to this particular specimen were tiny galatheid crabs, polychaete worms, small highly-branched hydroids, and spider crabs. Perhaps these corals are more like an apartment building rather than a single family home. Image courtesy of IFE, URI-JAO, Lost City science party, and NOAA.

Related Links

The Lost City 2005

The Lost City 2005: July 27 Log

NOAA Ocean Explorer Gallery