Polyps Up Close

Lobactis   scutaria  (mushroom coral)

Lobactis scutaria (mushroom coral)

Lobactis   scutaria  (mushroom coral)

Lobactis scutaria (mushroom coral)

Lobactis   scutaria  (mushroom coral)

Lobactis scutaria (mushroom coral)

Montastraea cavernosa  polyps with tentacles extended.

Montastraea cavernosa polyps with tentacles extended.

The bare calcium carbonate skeleton of a deceased  Montastraea cavernosa  colony. Photo taken with iPhone 6.

The bare calcium carbonate skeleton of a deceased Montastraea cavernosa colony. Photo taken with iPhone 6.

Pseudodiploria clivosa  with tentacles extended.

Pseudodiploria clivosa with tentacles extended.

Montastraea cavernosa  polyps with tentacles extended at night.

Montastraea cavernosa polyps with tentacles extended at night.

Orbicella faveolata  polyps at night.

Orbicella faveolata polyps at night.

Dendrogyra cylindrus  polyps at night with tentacles extended.

Dendrogyra cylindrus polyps at night with tentacles extended.

Orbicella faveolata  polyps with their tentacles extended to feed at night on a reef in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, FL. Photo taken with the Olympus Tough in an underwater housing.

Orbicella faveolata polyps with their tentacles extended to feed at night on a reef in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, FL. Photo taken with the Olympus Tough in an underwater housing.

The mouth of an  Orbicella faveolata  polyp under a microscope, fluorescing while exposed to royal blue light.

The mouth of an Orbicella faveolata polyp under a microscope, fluorescing while exposed to royal blue light.

Pocillopora damicornis , a common Pacific species

Pocillopora damicornis, a common Pacific species

Montastraea cavernosa  polyps in the Coral Reef Futures Lab's indoor semi-recirculating tanks, tentacles extended. Photo taken with iPhone 6.

Montastraea cavernosa polyps in the Coral Reef Futures Lab's indoor semi-recirculating tanks, tentacles extended. Photo taken with iPhone 6.

One-month-old recruits of  Orbicella faveolata , fluorescing under the microscope exposed to royal blue light.

One-month-old recruits of Orbicella faveolata, fluorescing under the microscope exposed to royal blue light.

An alien-like  Montastraea cavernosa  polyp under the microscope.

An alien-like Montastraea cavernosa polyp under the microscope.

Montastraea cavernosa  polyp under a microscope.

Montastraea cavernosa polyp under a microscope.

Montastraea cavernosa  under royal blue light.

Montastraea cavernosa under royal blue light.

Orbicella faveolata  colony at night. Photo taken with the Olympus Tough in an underwater housing.

Orbicella faveolata colony at night. Photo taken with the Olympus Tough in an underwater housing.

Orbicella faveolata  colony in Key Largo, FL. Photo taken with the Olympus Tough in an underwater housing.

Orbicella faveolata colony in Key Largo, FL. Photo taken with the Olympus Tough in an underwater housing.

Orbicella faveolata  colony at night. Photo taken with the Olympus Tough in an underwater housing.

Orbicella faveolata colony at night. Photo taken with the Olympus Tough in an underwater housing.

One-month-old  Orbicella faveolata  recruits under the microscope, just beginning to acquire their algal symbionts.

One-month-old Orbicella faveolata recruits under the microscope, just beginning to acquire their algal symbionts.

Montastraea cavernosa  polyps under the microscope.

Montastraea cavernosa polyps under the microscope.

A single one-month-old  Orbicella faveolata  recruit under the microscope.

A single one-month-old Orbicella faveolata recruit under the microscope.

Montastraea cavernosa  fluorescing under the microscope.

Montastraea cavernosa fluorescing under the microscope.

Montastraea cavernosa polyps with tentacles extended in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Photo taken with iPhone 6 in a Watershot Pro underwater housing.

Montastraea cavernosa polyps with tentacles extended in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Photo taken with iPhone 6 in a Watershot Pro underwater housing.

Montastraea cavernosa  under a microscope.

Montastraea cavernosa under a microscope.