Corals are animals!
Lets look at some corals that can be found in Hong Kong waters. Firstly we have a Soft coral Sinularia spp, polyps. These are colonies of tiny animals called polyps. Each polyp has tiny tentacles that are used to grab food from water and that close down in case of danger.
And below we have Orange coral, Tubastrea spp. These weird looking flowers are actually animals, each composed of various tentacles, that live together forming a colony. They feed on small shrimps they can grab using their tentacles. After feeding they grow twice their size and get smaller in a few hours!
Many, many thanks to Maxine and Sarah of the The Marine Science Center, where i took these photos. The Marine Science Center is an aquarium and laboratory facility, centre of excellence of the Harbour school, on Ap lei Chau Island. The centre is focused on education and outreach program, it is equipped with up-to-date touch tank and aquaria and it hosts a great variety of colourful marine organisms! The MSC brings marine science curriculum into the school and provides a meaningful learning experience for students and the community.
During the school year the Centre is open to visitors every month on specific dates. The staff, composed of two marine biologists, will introduce you Hong Kong marine life and its amazing biodiversity.