Branching and/or Finger Coral

Branching Type Coral Fossil

Branching Type Coral Fossil
(View Large to see minute details)

Branching finger-like corals are a dominant species in the Caribbean, Florida and Bahama ocean reefs and form some of the largest colonies extending as far as eight meters in height. They are very slow growing and therefore some may be a thousand years old.

Club Tip Finger Coral

Club Tip Finger Coral

Because the fossil/skeleton sample in my possession has broken off branches (very typical) I was unable to identify the exact species, but am certain it belongs to the genus called Porites. Three Western Atlantic Porites species have features that overlap so can be difficult to identify.

  • Club Tip Finger Coral (Porites, porites) possess thick, stubby branches growing upright or spread wide apart. Often gray, occasionally bright blue
  • Branching Finger Coral (Porites, furcata) possess elongated, tightly compact branches with rounded tips. Usually grey
  • Thin Finger Coral (Porites, divaricata) possess most slender branches, widely spaced apart, often divided at their tips. Colors vary from purple, yellowish brown, grey and brown.

  

Source: http://foro.fonditos.com/porites-furcata-80-t54240.html

Branching Finger Coral (Close-Up)
Source: http://foro.fonditos.com/porites-furcata-80-t54240.html

CLASSIFICATION

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Cnardia (stinging cells)
  • Class: Anthozoa (flower animl)
  • Order: Scleractinia (stony coral)
  • Family: Poritidae (massive reef builders)
  • Genus: Porites (finger-like)
Branching Finger Coral Fossil (Opposite Side)

Branching Type Coral Fossil (Opposite Side)
(View Large to see minute details)

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2 thoughts on “Branching and/or Finger Coral

    • Thank you Donna, the coral comes in many shapes and forms indeed, sometimes with only slight variations making it a challenge to identify, but I have that tenacious drive to find out! I don’t know where that comes from . . lol!

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