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Palmate sea fan

Palmate sea fan

Sea fans are related to soft corals.

They look like small trees, but they are actually colonies of animals (polyps) living together in the shape of a fan.

Each polyp has eight feathery tentacles.  When the polyps come out to feed they give the ‘branches’ a fuzzy appearance.

Although they only grow 15mm per year, these sea fans can reach 2m in height.

Divers may be lucky to discover underwater “forests” of palmate sea fans.

Large colonies are often over 100 years old.

Grows very slowly but can get very large
Some colonies can reach an age of 100 years or more