Thursday 29 March 2012

Mushroom Soft Coral

Yeh, this place could definitely do with a little jazzing up.

So we have our weird pink cactus and our weird pink tree, but what about a weird pink mushroom? Where can we find one of those?

Image: California Academy of Sciences
Mushroom Soft Corals are aptly named deep sea soft corals in the genus Anthomastus.

Image: WoRMS for SMEBD
When their polyps are safely tucked in they look amazingly similar to a mushroom.

Image: California Academy of Sciences 
They look quite different when the polyps are extended, though.

Image: California Academy of Sciences  
Mushroom Soft Corals are octocorals, so each gigantic polyp has 8 tentacles.

Image: California Academy of Sciences  
It also means that they are closely related to Gorgonians. They just happen to be completely different!

The polyps have the usual stinging cells for capturing prey. If you ever wondered why Mario got all beat up whenever he stepped on an angry mushroom, this may be your answer!


TexWisGirl said...

they're really pretty.

Joseph JG said...

Yes! That too!