Soft Coral

Called soft corals because they do not have hard, rigid permanent skeletons, this group includes Gorgonians and Black Corals.

Gorgonian colonies are attached to a hard surface by a single anchor at the base of a stem. This stem is like a tree trunk. And like a tree, gorgonians have branches. Different gorgonians have different branching patterns. The inter connected net-like branching is typical for sea fans while sea whips and sea plumes have pinnate branching pattern. The polyps live beneath the branch surface but extend their tentacles and bodies through surface openings celled apertures.