Department of Zoology at ANDC/Zoology Museum/Museum specimens/Cnidaria/Gorgonia

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Date & Time : 20, May 2022 01:56

Gorgonia ventalina


Phylum - Cnidaria

Class - Anthozoa

Order - Gorgonacea

Genus - Gorgonia

Common Name

Sea fan, sea whips or sea feathers


Sea fans are found in South Atlantic, Indo-Pacific, West Indies and also in Malay Archipelago, Bemunda and Bahamas.


It exists in colonial form in all seas from tide mark to over 4000 m. Some prefer to grow in warmer seas. Majority of them are littoral.

They form branches in all direction in deep sea & fan-like structure in shallow water. It forms attractive features of coral reefs & submarine gardens. Dried skeleton are used as ornaments.

Identifying Features

Labelled diagram of GORGONIA.jpg
  • Body looks like fan-shaped.

  • Body consists of pedal disk, arborescent branches, stalk and polyps.

  • Colonies are erect, branching, tree-like and upto 8 cm high and wide.

  • They often exhibits shades of yellow or reddish colour.

  • Branches are in one plane and are connected by many cross-branches forming a mesh or network.

  • Pedal disk act as a hold fast organ where the base of the colony is expanded.

  • Many small and retractile polyps are present in rows on both sides of the stem and branches.

General Characteristics

  • Axial rod is made up of flexible horny proteinous substance known as gorgonin that is embedded in mesoglea.
  • Axial rod consists of medulla and cortex.
  • Shallow layer of coenenchyme covers the central axial rod which contains polyps with gastrovascular cavities and variously shaped loose calcareous spicules.
  • These exhibit high power of regenration.
  • Sexes are separate.

More Pics of Gorgonia

Sea Fan on the Inner Reef

Gorgonia mariae

Common sea fan Gorgonia ventalina (4676539477)