Membraneous Coral (Turbinaria mesenterina)

Also known as Bowl Coral, Colonial Coral, Colonial Stony Coral, Cup Coral, Disc Coral, Lettuce Coral, Pagoda Cup Coral, Scroll Coral, Turbinate Coral, Vase Coral

Description

Also known as Bowl Coral, Colonial Coral, Colonial Stony Coral, Cup Coral, Disc Coral, Lettuce Coral, Pagoda Cup Coral, Scroll Coral, Turbinate Coral, Vase Coral.

Found in colonies on upper reef slopes in murky waters of lagoons, coral and rocky reefs. When in shallow waters that are exposed to strong light these colonies have highly convoluted growth forms and can look like giant cabbages.
They feed on plankton.
Colour varies brown, green, yellow with a pale edge.
Length - 100cm
Depth - 10-20m
Widespread Indo-Pacific

Stony corals have hard stony skeletons, their polyps have six tentacles or are made up of multiples of six. These are usually nocturnal, however if the sky's are overcast, then many will feed during the day.
Generally the more robust corals life on exposed areas, while the smaller corals live in sheltered lagoons or deeper waters.
Stony corals are reef building corals and embedded in their flesh are thousands of minute single-celled marine plants called zooxanthellae which accounts for their colour.
These corals support a huge diversity of life, their main predator being the crown-of-thorns sea star. (edit) Ref: http://www.coralsoftheworld.org/species_factsheets/species_factsheet_images/turbinaria-mesenterina/

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