All of the corals I’m introducing here come from the German Baltic Sea shore where there’s obviously a small reef. Its exact location is kept secret. 😉
My taxonomy doesn’t go by species, but rather randomly by quality of the used material.
Click pictures to enlarge for more vieving fun.
Corals and sea anemones
The Greater velvet coral is a stony coral and exists in two colours – olive green and brown. Reaching its size of 23 cm in about an hour, it has got a weight of approx. 100 grams.
A beautiful example of this slightly compact species. Wide 25 cm, it has grown to a height of 13 cm. The symbiotic algae can be found at the top rim.
The reefs on the German Baltic Sea shores are a treasure trove for unique corals. Here’s an example of another endemic species. This specimen has grown to a size of 8 x 12 cms and a weight of 50 g in two days.
Hardly anything is known about this species, so further research will be necessary. Size 25 cm
A stony coral which got its name from the multicoloured algae in its surface. Also a fast growing species, 14 cm tall
A very rare species around here. 13 cms high with a diameter of 12 cms, this sea anemone is collecting light during daytime and is emitting a greenish glow when it’s dark. The chemical process has yet to be researched.
The Sandstone coral shows various growth forms depending on the place it grows in. Here are two examples, oblong (21 cm) and round (13 cm).
This is the only known example of the white cotton coral. The white cotton coral produces a calcite skeleton. The coral polyps are located at the top, where they live in a symbiosis with green algea which produce the nutrients the polyps feed on. It builds up its height of about 12 cm/5″ within two or three hours.
Like the White cotton coral, C. lurexia also builds up a calcite skeleton, but with added lurex crystals. The coral polyps live in symbiosis with brown algae from which they get their nutrients. This specimen grew to a height of approx. 11 cms.
A fast growing species that reaches its adult size of 14 x 9 cm in about 45 minutes. The Red stony coral builds small calcite crystals into its surface layer.
Because of its characteristic pattern it is sometimes called Tiger coral. The pictured specimen weighs approx. 50 grams and the size is 10 x 20 cm/4″ x 8″.
Another species of sea-anemones from the western Baltic Sea, this time in symbiosis with red algae. Its straight stem is a distinct feature. Height 14 cm.
A rare specimen. The Brown magnet coral is filtering small iron particles from the water and builds them into its surface. That’s where the brown colour comes from and it’s also the cause of its slightly magnetic property. The Brown magnet coral is a delicate species and grows very slowly.
Another species of the local reef. 20 cms long with a diameter of 11 cms, this sea anemone resembles a sea slug known as Spanish dancer but belongs to the carpet anemones.
A species from the vast family of stony corals. Polyethylenia is semi-transparent and has got symbiotic algae only in some areas. Size 10 cm
Easily to be missed in the dim light of the western Baltic Sea, the ribbed goblet sponge has just been discovered. Height 9 cms with a diameter of 8 cms.
This specimen is 8 cms in diameter and 10 cms high and is the only known example of the yellow mushroom sponge so far. The purpose of the unusual mushroom shape is yet unknown and needs to be further researched.
This small group of two tube sponges is between 15 and 19 cms high. Green tube sponges grow quickly once the larvae have found a place to settle and reach their adult size in less than an hour.
The small air-filled bubbles keep the see mistletoe upright in the water. A broken-off branch drifts around until it finds a new place to grow on. This example is 33 cm long.
Another relative of the green sea mistletoe, 34 cm high.
A close relative of the green sea mistletoe, this example is 25 cm high.