IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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Comprehensive Description

The origin of the common name for the reef-forming coral, Diploria labyrinthiformis, "brain coral", is readily apparent: this species forms large clumps, 6 to 8 feet (2 to 2.5 meters) in diameter, with a deeply convoluted surface reminiscent of a human brain. It is brownish yellow in life (Voss 1980). This "brain" is actually a colony of tiny cnidarian polyps (sea anemone-like animals) that secrete a hard calcareous skeleton. The polyps feed by catching food with their tentacles, as well as obtaining nutrients from symbiotic photosynthesizing dinoflagellate "algae".


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© Shapiro, Leo

Source: EOL Rapid Response Team

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