Ross Bryzoan

This Ross coral is an example of a colonial animal.

It is not actually a coral but rather a sea mat. Sea mats are a class of mostly marine animals found around the whole of the British Isles. They consist of many individual animals living in small box-like compartments forming part of the skeleton made from limestone, or sometimes a material similar to your nails. This skeleton forms a large complex structure which can help attract and trap food-carrying water. Each individual animal has a finely formed crown of tentacles for collecting the finely suspended food particles from the water. The ross coral is a rust-red in colour with large colonies having a shape which resembles a human brain. This shape merely allows more water to be trapped in the complex structure allowing more food to be trapped and consumed. Ross corals are very brittle and easily damaged, especially by activities such as crab potting and divers kicking them with their fins.

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Copyright Lundy MCZ 2017