Massive Coral

Porites lutea

Massive Corals are often hemispherical with a smooth surface, sometimes with irregular nodules, usually cream yellow in colour or various shades of brown. Despite the massive size of the colony, individual polyps making up the colony are only about 1.3 mm across. Colonies can grow to several metres in diameter taking hundreds of years to do so. Core samples taken through very old Porites bommies (coral heads) are used to help understand climate changes, rather like growth rings on a tree.

Common on reef margins, lagoons, and some fringing reefs, in northern Australia from the Houtman Abrolhos, WA, to Flinders Reef, Queensland.

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