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Soft Coral Close-Up

Corallimorpharian
James H. Nicholson / Nikon Small World

These neon balloons weren't blown up for a party: they are the colorful tentacles of the corallimorpharian Ricordea florida. Unlike the shallow-water corals that build reefs, corallimorpharians don't have skeletons, but otherwise have very similar anatomy. This photo of a single live soft coral polyp, taken at 20x zoom, was named an Image of Distinction in Nikon Small World's 2013 photomicrography competition.