Monday, 30 May 2016

One of the Brain Corals

This week at the Keys Marine Lab we did tons of snorkeling and classification of the species where we snorkeled. We saw tons of different species but one that we saw a ton of is Colpophyllia natans. This is a hard bolder coral that helps make up the base of the reef. Colpophyllia natans is commonly known as a brain coral, but there are many different species commonly known as brain coral. This species is identified by its brain coral shape, but the ridges are thinker and they have a seam between the ridges. This species is also able to grow to sizes much bigger than most other brain corals. Colpophyllia natans is makes its home in the Caribbean, The Gulf of Mexico, Florida, and The Bahamas. They can be found anywhere between 1 meter to 55 meters in depth in the back reef and fore reef environments. This species is known as a broadcast spawner. Each individual species releases both eggs and sperm. Below are some pictures taken from this week at the various snorkel sites of Colpophyllia natans. Hopefully this blog has helped you be able to identify Colpophyllia natans  in the wild.


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