Nanipora是一种非常奇异的“化石珊瑚”,可能你甚至不知道它正在你的水族箱中生长。它是在几年前才被首次发现。Nanipora非常独特,能够长出石灰质骨骼,而这在八放珊瑚中只有笙珊瑚和苍珊瑚才能做到。

首次发现Nanipora时,基因分析显示该品种与常见的蓝珊瑚相关,但发现样品数量太少,无法进一步研究。然而,最近一组研究人员发现这种“化石珊瑚”大量生长在一个非常奇特的地方——浅水区的海草床中。

这是在南海东沙环礁岛上发现的。仅仅这个区域繁殖的Nanipora就是其已知存活数量的20倍。这个新发现的Nanipora栖息地非常广阔、多样化和发达,让这种鲜为人知的珊瑚增添更多光芒。

由于Nanipora珊瑚的水螅体完全打开时才勉强达到1毫米左右,因此它不太可能成为下一个水族馆必备的珊瑚品种。但是,如果您想要一种内在独特、在珊瑚缸中显得神秘的生物,在当地水族馆商店选购时一定要留意新鲜采摘的绿色丁香珊瑚的底部,那里可能藏有一种“古老的”生物。

原文:

Nanipora is a very bizarre and unusual type of ‘fossil coral’ that you might have growing in your tank without even knowing it. First described just a couple short years ago, Nanipora is very unique in being able to grow a calcified skeleton, something only Tubipora pipe organ and Heliopora blue ridge are able to do among the Octocorals. 

When it was first described genetic analysis linked this species to the common blue ridge, but very few samples have ever been discovered for study. Recently however a group of researchers discovered this ‘fossil coral’ growing in abundance in a very peculiar place – among seagrass beds in very shallow water. 

The surprising discovery was made at Dongsha Atoll in the South China Sea and it single handedly multiplies the number of known living colonies of this coral by a factor of 20. Not only is this new habitat for Nanipora very broad, but the colonies of the fossil coral are also extremely varied and well developed, shedding a lot more light on this little known coral. 

With polyps barely reaching more than 1mm when fully open, Nanipora is not likely to become the next must-have coral strain for aquariums. But if you’re looking for something that is inherently unique and will remain cryptic in your reef tank, definitely keep an eye out on the undersides of freshly harvested green clove coral colonies you might spot at your local fish store – it may harbor an ‘ancient’ hitchhiker.