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Colpophyllia natans

Colpophyllia natans

Trunk : Cnidarians (Cnidaria)
Class : Flower animals (anthozoa)
Subclass : Hexacorallia
Order : Hard corals (Scleractinia)
Family : Faviidae
Scientific name
Gregory , 1900

The Faviidae are a family of hard corals (Scleractinia). It contains most of the genera of all families . They live in all tropical seas, some genera endemic to the Red Sea and the western Indian Ocean or the Caribbean . Like most other hard corals, they live in a symbiotic relationship with small algae ( zooxanthellae ), which provide the coral with nutrients. You are therefore dependent on bright locations.


Many species grow in large colonies and reach a diameter of several meters. Because of the massive skeletal structure, their growth is very slow. Large colonies must therefore be hundreds of years old. The pattern of the large polyps is often reminiscent of the coils of a brain. That's why they got the German name brain corals.


Brain corals can also be cultivated in well-maintained saltwater aquariums . The compact growing species from the family Faviidae cannot, however, be reproduced as easily as the branchy acropores and montipores . They are therefore still heavily collected in the coral reefs . Parts of the coral sticks are knocked out with a chisel and the mother stick is severely damaged. Like other large polyp hard corals, the Faviidae have become rare in many places.


Detail of the brain coral Diplora strigosa .
Caulastera furcata in the Berlin Zoo aquarium .
Detail of the polyps of Montastrea cavernosa .

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