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Category: Invertebrates



These marine invertebrates are known for the dazzling calcified colonies they create as they multiply and grow. Each colony is a collection of genetically identical coral organisms (polyps) that create their own calcium carbonate compartments which accumulate into the large skeletons we associate with coral reefs. Similar in structure to sea anemones, they capture tiny live prey with their tentacles as well as obtaining nutrients from symbiotic alga (zooxanthellae) that live within their tissues. Corals are very sensitive to pollution, blast-fishing, ocean-acidification, temperature change, and other disruptions to their environment.



Data & Facts

Scientific Classification
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Cnidaria
Class - Anthozoa

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Interesting Animal Facts

Body horror in the insect kingdom

Learning about animals, you can discover many fascinating, even beautiful facts, but there are also things that can give you nightmares! Enter the strepsiptera (“twisted-wing parasite”). The adult female has no limbs, wings, or mouth - she simply lives in and feeds off her host (typically a wasp). When it becomes time to mate, she protrudes part of her abdomen from between the plates of her host and uses mind control to get the wasp to fly off to nearby males. Sexually mature males have wings, and fly around for about five hours before dying - spending their entire short existence seeking out females to mate with. After the female is impregnated, her own young grow and consume her. And once there is nothing left to eat, they leave their host wasp, infiltrate the nursery, and latch on to a larvae to create their own “zombie wasp” host and continue the grisly cycle!

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