Octopus Coral 128
Mussidae and Merulinidae, more commonly referred to as brain coral brain coral, are spheroid shaped and grooved corals which resemble a brain. Each head of coral is formed by a colony of genetically identical polyps which secrete calcium carbonate that make up their hard skeleton. This makes them vital to reefs as their secretions form the foundation for other corals to grow. Brain corals are found in shallow warm-water coral reefs in all the world’s oceans and come in a wide variety of colors.
Our coral replicas are molded from the original coral to preserve the realistic shape and texture of the coral. Octopus Coral is an azooxanthellate coral (lacking symbiotic algae), which grows in colonies consisting of clumps of calcareous cups, projecting from a spongy calcareous base. The corallites (calcareous wall around a single polyp) flare outward, and project in a loosely branching fashion. The calyx (mouth region) is 6-8 mm in diameter, smaller than that of T. coccinea. The corallite skeleton is white, with poorly defined ribs. The interior of the corallite is partly divided by septa, projecting into the body cavity- there are four kinds of septa, of varying width which are arranged in cycles around the opening of the corallite. There are 48 septa. The septa do not protrude on the exterior of the corallite. There is a prominent columella – a projection of the skeleton in the center of the corallite. The body of the polyp itself is black or dark-green, and the tentacles are also usually black or green, but sometimes gray. Octopus Coral is a coral which grows in bush or tree-like colonies (up to 1 m in diameter), and is capable of forming reefs. Polyps reproduce asexually by budding from the base, or from the oral disk, to produce new polyps, which secrete their own calcareous skeletons. The reproductive biology of the planulae of this species is not known. However, its congener, T. coccinea, is hermaphroditic, and releases sperm into the water. Eggs and the developing planula larvae are brooded. Planulae of T. coccinea can also be produced asexually. The larvae of T. coccinea can be competent for up to 100 days. It is unclear to what extent these features apply to T. micranthus. Each head of coral is formed by a colony of genetically identical polyps which secrete calcium carbonate that make up their hard skeleton.
|Dimensions||14 × 4 × 14 in|
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