Where in the world?
Throughout all the world’s oceans.
Large Polyp Stony Corals typically live in colonies and can be found on sea beds. They are called “stony” because they deposit calcium carbonate extracted from the seawater to build themselves a hardcup shaped skeleton. They come in a wide variety of shapes and colors depending on the species, their location, and the amount of water movement in their habitat.
Each individual animal is known as a polyp. Most of the stony polyps have long stinging tentacles called ‘sweeper tentacles’ that surround their mouth and are armed with stinging cells called nematocysts that assist in both food capture as well as defense.
Large Polyp Stony Corals produce their young by “budding”. This means the parent will grow multiple smaller polyps over time that will eventually separate from the parent, forming a multi-polyp colony with a common skeleton. These can grow up to several feet in diameter or height.
Did you know?
The degree of extension of the polyp tentacles depends upon the amount of light they receive, the undersea current, and whether the coral is feeding or feels threatened.