Any of about 500 coral species (genus Gorgonia) especially abundant in shallow waters along the Atlantic coasts of Florida, Bermuda, and the West Indies. Polyps grow colonially in a flat, fanlike pattern. Each polyp has some multiple of six tentacles, which it spreads out to form a plankton-catching net. An internal skeleton supports all branches of the colony. The living tissues (often red, yellow, or orange) entirely cover the skeleton. The fan-shaped colonies usually grow across the current, increasing their ability to ensnare prey. All species grow to about 2 ft (60 cm) high.
Sea fan—Douglas Faulkner
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