Red Coral

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Red Coral

 

(Corallium rubrum, C. nobile), a coelenterate of the order Gorgonaria, class Anthozoa.

Red coral lives in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic (in the Canary Islands region) at depths of 10–200 m. It forms branched colonies that attach themselves firmly to the rocky bottom. The polyps are white, with a corolla of eight feathery antennae. There is an internal skeleton of red spicules, or calcareous corpuscles, which, by merging, form the compact axial skeleton of the colony. Ornaments such as beads, bracelets, and the like are made from this skeleton. Commerce in red coral began in early antiquity. Closely related species are found off the coasts of Japan and Indonesia.