Brain Coral (Diploria labyrinthiformis) is also known as Grooved Brain Coral. Corals are in the phylum Cnidaria, and the class Anthozoa. Corals are divided into three sub-classes: Hexacorallia, Octocorallia, and Ceriantharia. Brain Coral is in the Hexacorallia sub-class, and in the genus Diploria. It is a marine invertebrate (without a backbone). It is an animal (not a plant).
Brain Coral is a stony or hard coral. It looks like the human brain. It is hemispherical and can be brown, yellow, or grey. It has deep valleys and long snake-like ridges.
It can grow to about 200 centimetres (78 inches) in diameter. It is initially mobile (it has locomotion – it can move), but becomes sessile (permanently non-moving) when it is an adult.
It is a reef-building coral found in the tropical seas of the west Atlantic Ocean.
It lives in colonies. Each individual coral is called a polyp.
Brain Coral feeds on zooplankton and bacteria. Other animals eat the Brain Coral. Its predators include gastropods, worms, sea urchins, starfish, and fish.
Brain Coral is hermaphroditic. It produces its own eggs and can fertilize the eggs with its own sperm.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM