One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A colonial coral-like hydrozoan, the heavy external skeleton of which forms reefs. The polyps bear nematocysts that can inflict painful stings.
Genus Millepora, order Hydroida (or Milleporina), class Hydrozoa
- ‘By 10m the large corals and sponges give way to the clean lines of old volcanic rock, on closer inspection encrusted with patches of fire coral, sponges and star corals.’
- ‘The Aquarium offered beautiful table corals smothered in soft corals, pinnacles full of fish and a spectacular fringing reef with a wall of giant fire corals.’
- ‘In my excitement, I had failed to notice that the sprig was of fire coral.’
- ‘We had to be careful not to touch the fire coral as it has a very painful sting on contact.’
- ‘This area showed numbers of plankton-feeding fish and large areas of fire coral, reflecting the extent of prevailing currents over this reef.’
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