Underwater Photos

Mound Coral
Mound Coral
Mound Coral (Suborder: Faviida)
Corals thrive in abundant variation throughout the Caymans. They are much more difficult for me to identify than the fish and invertebrates, so I have not even tried to do so. True corals are living colonies of individual polyps with calcium carbonate (limestone) exoskeletons. In the picture above each polyp occupies one of the knobby structures on the surface. These are called "corallites" and in the center of each is the closed orifice from which the polyp extends to feed at night.  Visible in the "valleys" between the polyps is the mucous-like coating characteristic of living coral.
BACK

Revised: 24 March 1999