Caribbean Coral Brain Coral–Celebros

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Brain coral are small, polyp-like creatures that form a hard, exoskeleton in patterns that look like a human brain.  They feed on algae and small animal tissues that drift through ocean currents. They are related to jellyfish, sea anemones and other species of coral.

The are one of the most resilient corals and can resist the onslaught brought by hurricanes and other natural disaster.  Brain coral provide shelter for animals like fish and other coral.

Brain coral is a collection of genetically identical, individual, multi-cellular organisms called polyps. These polyps resemble a human adult molar tooth. They have a quadruple root anchored to the calcified, coral surface and a soft body with short tentacles that wave back and forth in the water, collecting food.

There are many species of brain coral and we have in this area the species Diploria labyrinthiformis which lives in the Bahamas, Bermuda, the Caribbean and southern Florida.

Brain coral reproduce one of two ways, depending on the species. Some species release eggs and sperm into the water to reproduce. When the eggs and sperm combine, the gamete floats through the ocean currents until it can find a secure place to begin creating its own colony. After the gametes settle on a location, they begin creating a new colony. Other species reproduce asexually, releasing sperm but holding onto the egg. Once the egg is fertilized it grows into a polyp and begins reproducing asexually, forming a head.

Brain coral have tiny tentacles like jellyfish that have poisonous stingers, which they use to catch their primary source of food, plankton. Some species also feed on bacteria. When the plankton get close enough, the stingers paralyze the microscopic animals so that the tentacles can draw the plankton into its mouth. Some species, like Platygyra daedalea, have microscopic algae living in symbiotic relationship with them. The algae feed the light and nutrients that the coral excretes, and the coral receives nutrients through a transfer system because they live within the brain coral tissue.

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