Biomimetics: a new material that imitates coral could help to remove toxic heavy metals such as mercury from the ocean.
Euphyllia corals are hard corals that live in colonies. Their polyps are very large and the skeletons, called corallites, are formed of separate elongated tubes called phaceloids. They belong to the reef-building Scleratinia, or hard corals.
The tentacles of Euphyllia cause a painful rash.
These are very ancient corals that were living when the first mammals roamed the earth.
They can reproduce asexually.
Euphyllia corals help to create an important and diverse reef ecosystem. The more diverse a reef is, the more resilient it is. As well as the ecological benefit they bring, corals reefs are of major economic, social and cultural importance for the countries they border. They play a large part in regulating the greenhouse effect and global warming.
Crédits photo du bandeau : © D.Mallevoy
Crédits photo de la vignette : © Jenny Huang – Flikr / Wikimedia