#112 Staghorn Coral

Critically Endangered

Up until now I have been only showing one single animal per painting. What you see with coral, is a colony, so I was not sure I would do any coral. I decided to go ahead and while most people probably won't recognize this as coral, this is what an individual looks like.


These are a fringe coral, meaning that they grow near coastlines of islands or continents. They are in fact the fastest growing fringe coral in the western Atlantic, up to 8 inches a year. They are under threat from many sources, primarily human caused. They also have to contend with white band disease, hurricanes, and more. They have gone extinct in some of their territory, and have had a 98% population decrease since the 1980's.


Individual corals are called polyps. I don't know about you, but I seriously loathe that word. I know moist is a word many hate, and I don't like it either. Phlegm is another one I don't like. Neither of them compare to polyp for me though, it makes my skin crawl and I feel a bit queasy just thinking about it. I'm sure there are other words out there too that are almost vomit inducing for you. Not sure I should ask what they are because then my list will probably grow exponentially and half the English language will make me feel sick. It is like looking at something with lots of holes. Argh, I'm ruining coral for myself right now thinking of all the cringe-worthy stuff that is common out there.

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