Communication and Perception
Although elkhorn coral polyps do not communicate with other polyps directly, they do exhibit some behaviors indicating some sort of perceptive response. For example, the release of gametes for breeding occurs with all polyps at the same time per breeding season. On a full moon in August or September, the polyps will release gametes; this is an indication of perception of light (length of day), temperature, and nightime light from the moon. The polyps also exhibit a form of tactile response in that they react to touch and release venomous nematocytes.
Perception Channels: visual ; tactile
- Bythell, J., E. Gladfelter, M. Bythell. 1993. Chronic and catastrophic natural mortality of three common Caribbean corals. Coral Reefs, 12: 143-152.