Crusty Rock Coral
|Crusty Rock Coral|
|Official Name||Crust Rock Coral|
|Common Nicknames||Rock Coral, Boulder Coral|
A species of rock-like coral, Crusty Rock Coral is often a bedrock for other corals to grow off of. Often dull in color and long believed to be a species of rock rather than a coral in its own right, the species is even less disturbed than the other corals closer to the water’s surface. They are also known for being brittle and porous, even underwater, and capable of cutting those lacing protection.
Crusty Rock Coral is a strange species of coral given that it wasn’t identified as such until well after the Cataclysm by Ailor. Its appearance of being a rock often made it overlooked, as did its location often at the bottom of the coral food chain, literally, as a hard coral that other corals grow on top of. However, Ailor exploring reefs in Corontium discovered they were not, in fact, oddly-patterned rocks, but instead creatures in their own right, quickly earning their current designation. Able to exist in a variety of waters, Crusty Rock Coral has thus remained populous and little affected by the various events across Aloria.
Crusty Rock Coral is a hard coral, meaning that instead of various extended, floating limbs or appendages, it appears like a rock anywhere from four to ten feet large. Its skeletal structure forms a generally rounded shape crisscrossed by minor trenches and bulges caused by the organism’s growth which in the oldest specimens, almost entirely smooth out as they fully mature. However, this structure is also porous, even underwater, and the “bed of nails” principle does not work with this substance as even standing on it underwater causes tiny cuts and abrasions.
Surprisingly, Crusty Rock Coral has very little physical variation. While individual members of the species have their own patterning and formations, their color scheme is dull, varying from washed-out red, dull greyish blue, and then dark grey.
Life Span and Development
Crusty Rock Coral has a very poorly understood development cycle. What is known is that, like some other corals, the species releases a series of “buds” much in the way that a plant might. However, these “buds” are living creatures known as polyps, who group up and come to form their own colony on an appropriate surface, or eaten by a variety of other oceanic wildlife. Crusty Rock Coral specifically buds once a year, and grows to maturity over its entire lifetime. Its size, however, is stunted or determined by its location, and while the smaller members grow to their full size within two months, others take almost a year to reach their massive size.
Crusty Rock Coral is mindless in the way that only a simple animal can be. While its creation of colonies and co-operation is impressive, the animal does that all on instinct and totally lacks higher, or even lower brain functions except to group up, grow, and feed. However, it does allow other corals to latch onto its skeleton and grow on it, perhaps as a way of gaining the leftover food offerings or in exchange for some level of nutrients conveyed through their connection.
Territory and Groupings
Crusty Rock Coral is not territorial and is in fact built on the mutual cooperation of thousands of individual tiny organisms. While they do compete so to speak with other nearby corals, this is an entirely passive act and in fact allows other corals to grow on them, helping to build the vast reefs many corals call their home.
- Crusty Rock Coral was commonly mistaken for underwater ruins in its earliest years due to the appearance of being carved, ancient stones.