Gorgonian Sea Fans (Muricella sp.)

Also known as Bottle Brush Coral, Orange Wire Sea Fan, Wire Bush Coral, Wire Coral

Description

Also known as Bottle Brush Coral, Orange Wire Sea Fan, Wire Bush Coral, Wire Coral.

Found in caves or under overhangs over coral and rocky reefs. They grow in a single plane or several planes with branches growing out of various parts of the main fan, the polyps are non-retractable which are often trumpet shaped.
They feed on plankton.
Length - 17cm
Depth - 20-30m
Widespread Indo-Pacific

These corals are the home of the Pygmy Seahorse.
http://www.whatsthatfish.com/fish/pygmy-seahorse/313
http://www.whatsthatfish.com/fish/denises-pygmy-seahorse/1753

Most soft corals have no true skeleton and so their bodies are flexible.
Some soft corals have spikes very similar to rose thorns which may help to protect against predators.
Soft corals are food and shelter to many marine animals, some of which hide in the branches and take on the colouration of these corals. Ref: x

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