Bubble Coral

The Bubble Coral (Plerogyra sinuosa) is a marine (saltwater) zooxanthellate coral in the Caryophylliidae family of stony corals, although this is not definitive according to some zoologists – they refer to its classification as Incertae sedis or Problematica (which means ‘uncertain placement’ or ‘problematic’). It is in the Cnidaria phylum. It is also known as Grape Coral, Pearl Coral, and Bladder Coral. 

The Bubble Coral ‘bubble’ is grape-sized and roundish. It is cream to yellowish to light beige. Bunched together, like grapes, they form a colony that looks like an inverted cone. 

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Milky Jellyfish

The Milky Jellyfish (Chrysaora lactea) is a soft-bodied, invertebrate sea nettle in the Pelagiidae family of marine (saltwater) jellyfish. An invertebrate is an animal with no bones.

The Milky Jellyfish has a translucent (see-through) bell-shaped or umbrella-shaped dome body. It has short tentacles (limbs) with short arms. It has no bones, no brain, no heart, no blood, no excretory system, and no gills or lungs. It has nerve receptors in its body that enables it to detect smell, light, pressure, and touch. It is about 98% water.

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Knobby Finger Coral

The Knobby Finger Coral (Porites duerdeni) is a marine (saltwater) coral in the Poritidae family of polyp stony corals.

The Knobby Finger Coral looks like short, stubby, branching fingers in small, mound-shaped colonies. The top of each finger is spherical. It has widely spaced calices with retracted polyps. It has a well-developed wall reticulum. It can be varied in colour from light grey to yellowish-green and pinkish-red. It is sessile (not moving), with a mouth in each polyp.

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Giant Carpet Anemone

The Giant Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea) is a marine (saltwater) anthozoan cnidarian in the Stichodactylidae family of sea anemones. It is an animal, not a plant. 

The Giant Carpet Anemone is a polyp with folds of many tentacles around an oral (mouth) disc. It is dense with short, sticky tentacles. It can be various colours, such as brown, green, purple, pink, or blue. It is sessile –  it stays in one location on the sea floor; it does not move. 

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Pulsing Coral

The Pulsing Coral (Xenia sp.) is a soft marine (saltwater) coral in the Xeniidae family. It is also known as Pulse Coral. It is not a plant.

The Pulsing Coral resembles a mat-like mushroom with many-fingered arms. It uses its polyp arms to move water around it. This is called pulsatile motion. It is an octocoral because it has eight tentacles and eight mesenteries on their polyps. It can be white, yellow, blue, green, and brown.

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Jewel Anemone

The Jewel Anemone (Corynactis viridis) is a marine (saltwater) anthozoan cnidarian in the Corallimorphidae family of sea anemones. It is an animal, not a plant. 

The Jewel Anemone is cylindrical, slightly wider at the base, with an oral (mouth) disc and polyps. The individual polyps are clustered in aggregations. It is not attached to the soil or rock – the individuals can detach and drift away. Its tentacles are short, althought the outer tentacles are longer than the inner tentacles. Its colour is variable, but it is mainly white, pink, orange, red, and green.

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Upside-Down Jellyfish

The Upside-Down Jellyfish (Cassiopea ornata) is a marine (saltwater) planktonic scyphozoan in the Cassiopeidae family of upside-down jellyfish. It is a cnidarian. It is also known as the Sunbathing Jellyfish. 

It is a photosynthetic jellyfish. It is the only jellyfish that rests with its bell or umbrella on the ocean floor and its tentacles pointing upwards. It does this to receive light so that the symbiotic algae living on it can produce carbohydrates for the jellyfish to use as food for energy. 

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Plate Coral

The Plate Coral (Lithophyllon repanda or Fungia repanda) is a large marine (saltwater) polyp stony coral in the Fungiidae family of mushroom, disc, or plate coral. It is not a plant. It is also called the Mushroom Coral and the Fungia Plate Coral.

The Plate Coral is a colony of organisms, each with a separate mouth. It is shaped like a plate with a round, flat body, which is raised a little in the centre where the mouth is. It is covered with short tentacles, less than 2 centimetres (less than an inch) in height. It can be a variety of colours, from brownish to yellow, red, blue, or orange.

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Purple-Striped Jellyfish

The Purple-Striped Jellyfish (Chrysaora colorata) is a soft-bodied invertebrate marine (saltwater) animal. An invertebrate is an animal with no bones. It is also known as the Purple-Striped Sea Nettle. 

The Purple-Striped Jellyfish has a translucent (see-through) bell-shaped or umbrella-shaped dome body with purple stripes. It has long tentacles (limbs) with eight long dark purple arms and four ‘frilly’ arms. It has no brain, no heart, no blood, no bones, no excretory system, and no gills or lungs. It has nerve receptors in its body that enables it to detect smell, light, pressure, and touch. It is about 98% water.

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Organ-Pipe Coral

The Organ-Pipe Coral (Tubipora musica) is a soft marine (saltwater) coral. It is related to the sea fan.

The Organ-Pipe Coral is a mat coral – it looks like a carpet or mat on the bottom of the ocean. The polyps live inside long, bright red parallel tubes, called sclerites, connected by horizontal platforms. The tubes calcify into a hard, red external skeleton (often used in jewelry), which makes it seem like a stony coral instead of a soft coral. Therefore, it is a soft coral with a unique hard skeleton.

It lives in a colony (the mat is actually many polyps). The series of polyps have an eight-fold symmetry – eight feather-like tentacles. The tubes look like the pipes of a musical organ. The polyps can be white, silver, cream or green. Mostly the tubes can’t be seen during the day because the tentacles cover the tubes. At night, the tentacles go inside the tubes.

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Moon Jellyfish

The Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) is also called the Saucer Jelly. It is a marine (saltwater) simple invertebrate (animal with no bones – is is soft-bodied). It has nerve receptors in its body.

The Moon Jellyfish is translucent (see-through) with an umbrella-shaped bell and long tentacles. It has four horseshoe-shaped gonads (reproductive organs) in the top of its bell.

The bell pulsates, which enables it to move through the water. It also conserves energy by drifting with the ocean currents and tides.

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Green Mouth Moon Polyp

The Green Mouth Moon Polyp (Palythoa sp.) is also known as the Zoanthid Green Mouth Button Polyp. It is not a plant. It is a marine animal – a zoanthid – a Palythoa Coral.

The Green Mouth Moon Polyp can be cream, white, brown, or yellow, with a green centre, which is its mouth. It lives in a colony of many polyps (but it looks like just one single organism). Its polyps are flat circles with rimmed tentacles. The tentacles are short and shaped like a knob. They are connected to a mat, called the coenenchyma.

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Toadstool Coral

Toadstool Coral (Sarcophyton sp.) is a marine invertebrate animal that looks like a toadstool mushroom.

Corals are in the phylum Cnidaria, and the class Anthozoa. Corals are divided into three sub-classes: Hexacorallia, Octocorallia, and Ceriantharia. Toadstool Coral is in the Octocorallia sub-class – the soft corals.

Toadstool Coral usually has a rounded trunk (base or stem) that is firmly attached to a rock or substance (it cannot move – it is sessile). On top of the trunk is a round, flat cap called a capitulum. The capitulum can be ruffled or folded. Numerous individual polyps (tentacles) arise from the capitulum, which wave back and forth in the ocean currents. The polyps can retract within the capitulum at night and come out during the day.

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