Marine Animal Encyclopedia
Mushroom Coral Fungia scruposa
Mushroom coral is unusual in that it lives as a single individual rather than a colony. Juveniles start life as a small disk attached to dead coral or rock. By the time they reach about 1 in (4 cm) in diameter, they become detached. The animal feeds at night and the tentacles are withdrawn during the day, leaving the skeleton clearly visible, with the mouth at the center of the disk. The skeleton resembles the gills of a mushroom. Mushroom coral uses its tentacles to turn itself the right way up if it is overturned by waves.