Coral and Coral Reefs

Coral and Coral Reefs

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Coral and Coral Reefs by Thomas Henry Huxley

Published:

1870

Pages:

21

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2,264

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Coral and Coral Reefs

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A Lecture delivered in Manchester, November 4th, 1870.

Book Excerpt

thing which can serve as its prey comes near its tentacles, it closes them round it and sucks the material into its stomach and there digests it and turns it to the account of its own body.

These creatures are very voracious, and not at all particular what they seize; and sometimes it may be that they lay hold of a shellfish which is far too big to be packed into that interior cavity, and, of course, in any ordinary animal a proceeding of this kind would give rise to a very severe fit of indigestion. But this is by no means the case in the sea anemone, because when digestive difficulties of this kind arise he gets out of them by splitting himself in two; and then each half builds itself up into a fresh creature, and you have two polypes where there was previously one, and the bone which stuck in the way lying between them! Not only can these creatures multiply in this fashion, but they can multiply by buds. A bud will grow out of the side of the body (I am not speaking of the common sea anemone, but of

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