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Corrugated coral

Folds Within Folds

What seems like a fractal landscape of mountains and canyons is actually a "corrugated coral," a reef-building species with a hard skeleton, photographed under a microscope. Pockets of tiny white threads on the coral, which is feeding on tiny swimming animals, are digestive, "mesenterial," filaments the coral polyps extrude to snare and digest prey. The coral was collected in Panama during the MIT-WHOI Joint Program's January, 2011 Field Course in Tropical Marine Ecology at the Liquid Jungle Lab, taught by WHOI biologists Jesús Pineda and Ann Tarrant. (Photo by Liz Drenkard, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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