[Coral-List] Diurnal adaptations of coral polyps?

Erin Sams samsee at alumni.hiram.edu
Wed Jun 3 13:39:47 EDT 2009

Hello all,


Last February (2008), I noticed while diving off Koh Tao, Thailand and the Maldives that many corals - stony as well as Gorgonian - had their tentacles extended during the day, something I've never seen while diving in the Keys or Bahamas. Is this normal for some species? For this region? I have always understood corals to be nocturnal feeders, keeping their tentacles retracted to allow the zooxanthellae to photosynthesize during the day and extending them to feed at night. 


I am taking a coral reef ecology course through my Masters program in August and would like to address this as my research topic, but I have been unsuccessful in finding explanations of this behavior. Insight or direction to sources of information would be greatly appreciated.




Erin Sams

samsee at alumni.hiram.edu

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