Marine Animal Encyclopedia
Pulse Coral Xenia species
The most notable feature of this soft coral is the way the feathery tentacles of the polyps rapidly and continually open and close. A reef covered in fast-pulse coral is alive with movement. The colonies have a stout trunk with a dome-shaped top covered with long polyps. Unlike mushroom leather coral (see image), pulse coral polyps cannot retract and disappear. The pulsating movements of the polyps may help to oxygenate the colony as well as bring food within range of their tentacles.