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Ricordia Floridia

Jan 4, 2008 The other worldly scene pictured today comes from my living room. More specifically it comes from the aquarium that is in my living room. This guy here is a coral commonly called Ricordia Floridia. Corals while they look like plants are actually colonial animals made up of individual polyps. Each polyp has a mouth and is surrounded by tentacles. In the case of the pictured Ricordia the green is the mouth that is surrounded by stubby round bubble like tentacles.

The amazing color in corals comes from a single cell plant that lives inside the coral. These plants are photosynthetic algae called zooxanthellae that have a symbiotic relationship to the host coral. Most corals have stinging cells that provide the zooxanthellae with a protected environment to live in. The zooxanthellae in return supply the coral with glucose, glycerol and amino acids from the process of photosynthesis. The majority of the needed nutrients is supplied to the coral by this process of photosynthesis even though polyps have mouths which can take in more traditional food. As with all animals the host coral produces waste, which is used by the algae and broken down during the process of photosynthesis. Science is still learning about this cycle and the amazing relationship between corals and zooxanthelea. [NOAA 2004]

What does this have to do with photography?

Well nothing, other than that beyond pretty pictures, photography can bring an appreciation for the natural world around us. It can inspire our imagination, our creativity, our curiosity and if we let it our appreciation for the subjects that we picture.


On the web: Additional photographs of my little aquarium can be found at MyReefGarden. Take note of the Green Zoanthids... can you see the individual polyps? Be careful you might learn something when you aren't looking.

 Tips, Techniques & Tools Utilized
  Minimizing Vibrations     EOS 1D Mark II SLR     EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM     TC-80N3 Remote Shutter  


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