Messy Thicklip Plate Coral

Acropora dendrum

Guardian: Thomas Hanigan

Coral polyps are like Stormtroopers because they are all clones.

They have as much pressure as a Scuba Tank in their stinging cells (so they can explode out to capture prey).

They eat poo (Damselfish poo) like Dungbeetles (to fertilise the algae inside them).

The pigment molecules in their skin are so tightly packed together they are like crystals (to reflect damaging solar radiation and prevent sunburn).

Almost all of them died out with the Dinosaurs, but like birds, a few survived to evolve into the modern corals we see today (Acropora).

They secrete mucous (Snot) and eat it (they cover the whole colony with mucous and add toxins to it so creatures don’t eat them and they will also add sugar to it to make sure all the Stormtroopers get plenty of food).