The Deep aquarium in Hull recently welcomed the Olympic Torch on its national relay, and as a lasting commemoration of the occasion, the attraction has launched a very special exhibition â€” Torch coral!
The Deep’s very own living torch, the Euphyllia torch coral, is an amazing species that has long flowing tentacles with glowing yellow tips. Like the famous flame, the Torch coral glows day and night making a wonderful addition to the Deep’s living coral display.
The underwater torch will be glowing brightly whilst the Olympic Torch continues its relay and, as a permanent exhibition, will continue to proudly shine for long after the games are over. The coral is on display as part of The Deep’s magnificent underwater garden, encased in an impressive 4.5 m-wide tank.
In the wild, this species is can be found on coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific, Australian and Indian Oceans and, more rarely, in the Red Sea. The long, finger-like tentacles of the coral end in coloured rounded tips where a high concentration of stinging cells (nematocysts) are located. These are used for capturing floating zooplankton and as the tentacles remain extended they can also be used defensively against predators and to prevent other corals from settling too close by.
Euphyllia glabrescens is classed as 'Near Threatened' on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List and this exhibition forms part of The Deep’s conservation, education and research work to help protect the world’s oceans and its species.
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