Under the sea

Coral Skeleton

This is the surface of a small piece of coral skeleton. Coral reefs are made up of the hard skeletons of corals, which are really soft-bodied animals that resemble sea anemones. These polyps secrete calcium carbonate from the bottom of their stalks, forming cups they can cling to. When threatened, they can withdraw into their cups. When they are out, their tentacles can collect plankton for food. They have stinging cells called nematocysts, in their tentacles, which they use to paralyze prey.

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