Lophelia pertusa living colony surrounded by skeletal non-living colonies

The habitat forming Lophelia pertusa forms litho- or bioherms of skeletal material upon which new parts of the colony grow. The pink structure in the center of the photo is the living portion of the colony. The skeletal material provides habitat for other organisms as well. Image courtesy of Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.

Related Links

Olympic Coast 2006

Olympic Coast 2006: What are Deep-Sea Corals and Why Do We Care?

NOAA Ocean Explorer Gallery