I really love this new time-lapse video from Tim Wijgerde, showcasing the intricate structures, stunning colors, and fascinating behaviors of coral polyps, tube worms, tunicates, crinoids, starfish, urchins, flatworms and anemones.
The ultra close-up of the Tubastrea Black Sun Coral extending its polyps at 3:33 is especially cool.In the wild, this large polyp stony coral gets most of its nutritional needs from zooplankton, so it thrives in areas with lots of water movement and is most active at night, when its prey is more active and available. Since it is non-photosynthetic and azooxanthellate, it makes perfect sense that the coral would conserve its energy for the times when it can get a good meal. The Black Sun Coral, or Tubastrea micranthus, is actually considered to be a reef-building coral, as its skeleton is denser than most other corals on the reef, though its branches are quite fragile, and can break off easily.

To capture the raw footage for this project, Tim used a Nikon D610 camera, equipped with a 60 mm Nikkor macro lens, and the resulting video consists of over 15,000 24-Megapixel photographs. More of his work can be found on his youtube channel. Tim founded the enterprise in 2008; it specializes in several areas related to the saltwater world, including seaweed and coral aquaculture (with the support of the Dutch government, they established a stony coral aquaculture facility in The Netherlands), and macro photography and videography.

featured image credit: Tim Wijgerde

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