The Warty Gorgonian (Eunicella verrucosa) is a soft marine (saltwater) coral in the Gorgoniidae family of sea fans. It is also known as the Broad Sea Fan Coral and the Pink Sea Fan Coral. It is not a plant.
The Warty Gorgonian is a branching calcareous coral. It branches into slender, warty stems and branchlets. The warts are small growths. It can be red, pink, or white. It leans in the direction of the water flow or ocean current. The polyps emerge from the warty protrusions and spread their tentacles to feed on organisms in the sea. The polyps are retractable with eight tentacles.
It grows to about 50 centimetres (20 inches) tall. It grows about 6 centimetres (2 inches) per year, although in some years it does not grow at all.
It is native to the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. It grows on rocks. It lives on nutrients in the ocean water. The Warty Gorgonian is a filter feeder. Each tentacle catches minute plankton in the water and filters out the water and sand before putting the nutrients into its mouth.
It lives in colonies. It breeds through planula larvae that drifts in the oceans for a short-time before settling on the sea bed.
Location of photographs: Aquarium de Paris-Cinéaqua, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM