[Coral-List] Licking corals - PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS!!!

John McManus jmcmanus at rsmas.miami.edu
Thu Nov 4 15:35:30 EST 2004


Thanks for letting us know about this  -- but --


The coral may fire more stinging cells into a tongue than a wrist, and
the impact will likely be much greater because of the sensitivity of the
tongue. The consequences could be severe! There is at least one fungiid
coral* that can kill and eat small fish -- so the toxins can be
dangerously strong. With hundreds of similar-looking species out there,
it would be easy to make tragic errors. 

*Heliofungia actiniformis

 *** Please note new phone numbers (361 now 421) ***
John W. McManus, PhD.
Professor, Marine Biology and Fisheries
Director, National Center for Caribbean Coral Reef Research (NCORE)
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL, 33149
305-421-4814, 305-421-4820,       Fax: 305-421-4910
jmcmanus at rsmas.miami.edu

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Brostoff,
William ERDC-EL-MS
Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2004 9:08 AM
To: 'coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov'
Subject: [Coral-List] Licking corals - akin to licking toads?

While on a recent trip to Australia, I ran into a diver who licked
for their unusual effect.  She said that "green" corals were the best,
that she first tested them to assure there was no severe effect by
her finger, then her wrist, to the coral.  While it is moot whether this
more harmful to the coral or person doing the licking (I did not try
myself), I am curious how widespread this is...  

William N. Brostoff, Ph.D.
Wetlands and Coastal Ecology Branch
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center
attn.: CEERD-EE-W
3909 Halls Ferry Rd.
Vicksburg, MS 39180

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