Reef aquarium time lapse video shows behavior of coral polyps

By on Apr 16, 2012

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There’s nothing like a good reef aquarium time lapse video to remind us that corals are animals like us, reacting to their environment in their own way, everyday. This time lapse video of a reef aquarium shows a wide range of soft and stony corals ‘waking up’ once the lights come on. In it you can see Goniopora and Blastomussa extending their fleshy polyps from the skeleton, Zoanthids unfurling themselves and responding to cues in the water with rhythmic folding of their crown and a suite of other Cnidarians responding to the sunrise. We walk past our reef aquariums all throughout the day, expecting the polyps to be extended during the day, and retracted at night, but as this time lapse shows there’s so much more going on with our aquarium corals on a scale that we can’t register at the normal pace of life.

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