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Balanophyllia elegans

By PaulY
This is one of California's few coral species. It is a solitary coral and doesn't make coral reefs. This specimen was about 1/2 inch wide. The white speckles on the tentacles are batteries of stinging capsules. The capsules contain coiled harpoon like structures which are shot out when prey or enemies brush up against the tentacles. The "harpoons" contain poison to imobilize prey which is then dragged to the mouth which you can see in the center of the tentacles. After digesting the meal, the remains are ejected from the mouth. You can see some of the remains of its last meal still in the mouth. There's your science lesson for the day!

Tags: Diving Coral Scuba Balanophyllia Wildlife and nature Flash and lighting

Voters: User_Removed, cceccles, caotiquemind and 19 more

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NevP 17 853 13 Canada
28 Feb 2007 2:25PM
This is great, not an easy shot I wouldn't think.
28 Feb 2007 2:41PM
Nice shot, very informative.
User_Removed 18 3.3k Russian Federation
28 Feb 2007 2:53PM
Bloomin' 'eck... And it looks so pretty too!

Dark background Paul - not a criticism - just wondering how deep you were when you took this?
PaulY 16
28 Feb 2007 2:58PM
Thanks NevP, Chris and magicboy! Magicboy I was down about 30 feet or so. The coral was on a little outcrop so there was drop-off below. Plus, the extension tubes suck up a lot of light so the flash overpowers the ambient light by quite a bit!
User_Removed 16 16 England
28 Feb 2007 3:05PM
An amazing under-water macro and great description. So clear and detailed too. Well taken!
28 Feb 2007 3:10PM
Fantastic colours and great details.
Love it Smile

Barbaraj 15 450 England
28 Feb 2007 5:43PM
It seems to sparkle! Thank you.
28 Feb 2007 7:48PM
Amazing! I like my science lesson for the day. Great capture.

28 Feb 2007 10:49PM
I absolutely wouldn't have determinated it as a coral. The colors and details are wonderful....very pretty photo!
1 Mar 2007 12:12AM
thanks for the lesson Paul. It's a great shot.

PaulY 16
1 Mar 2007 12:19AM
Andrew, Noe, Barbara, Kent,Thrumyeye and Dee, thanks! I have one more macro science lesson which I'll post tomorrow!
Grim1 16 49 United Kingdom
1 Mar 2007 4:30PM
Fascinating shot!!!!!
Atlas 19 621 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2007 5:37AM
Beautifully captured Paul ☼☼☼☼☼

chodge987 16 20 Scotland
5 Mar 2007 12:40PM
Wow, amazing colours and somehow alien like. Smile


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