CORAL OR FLOWER?

January 7, 2020

It’s amazing how so many of the coral species in the collection remind me of plants and flowers. The tiny specimens below are from the genus and species Deltocyathus calcar, and were found 140 miles southwest of Egmont Key, Florida at a depth of 1200 feet. They are each about the size of my pinky nail. No two appear the same. Each one in the collection seems to have unique color, shading and contrast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is Stephanocyathus spiniger found off Mactan Island in the Phillipines. I had never seen anything like this. Not only was it perfectly flowerlike, with gray shading that made it appear to have petals but, upon turning it over, I found six appendages that look so like roots (see below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about this connection, I looked at so many photos of corals on the websites devoted to them. And, in fact, there are many examples of corals that look similar to other organic things: trees with branches, brains, mushrooms, flower buds and antlers. This occurs in many different species found all over the world.

 

But why? I’m sure I am not the only person to have noticed. In fact, many websites mention this fact. As to why this is, so far I have not found anything.

 

Wouldn’t this be a great challenge? Who wouldn’t want to be the first to determine why this connection exists? I would very much like to hear from anyone who has done the research and can explain this relationship.

 

 

 

 

 

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