Common shallow-water Gorgonians of Trinidad

Doon Ramsaroop

Abstract


Gorgonians are more commonly referred to as sea fans, sea feathers and sea whips. They are coelenterates and are therefore related to jelly fishes , stony corals, black corals and hydroids. These colonial animals comprise one of the most prominent and characteristic components of the marine shallow.water, hard-bottom communities around Trinidad. The species described here are found only along the Trinidad North Coast except Pacifigorgia elegans. They are especially predominant in the shallow bays where the substratum is rocky and where the full force of the Caribbean swells is reduced. Some of thse localities include Macqueripe Bay, Cyril's Bay, Balata Bay, Damian Bay, Tyrico Bay, Chupara Bay and Toco Bay. P. elegans, on the other hand occurs all around the island but only where the sea floor is rocky.

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