This photo shows a beautiful Purple Ribbon Gorgonian (AKA Sea Fan or Sea Whip) in one of our saltwater reef aquariums. A Gorgonian is similar to a coral, but it is classified as a different marine species. They are found all throughout the world but are particularly abundant in the shallow waters of the islands in the Caribbean Sea and Bermuda. They contain many small polyps which catch and consume plankton and particulate matter (you can see the polyps on the edges of the branches in the photo). Not only are they beautiful specimens to have in a saltwater aquarium, but they are great natural filters as well!