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Mushroom Coral

A genus of hard coral with the scientific designation Danafungia, of which there exist several species. It typically has a round to oval dome-shape, similar to some mushrooms, but it is not so much the hemispherical shape that gave it its common name, but rather its grooved outline, i.e. thin sheet-like plates radiating around its central mouth, which are reminiscent of the gills, i.e. the spore-bearing surface, on the underside of the cap of certain mushrooms. It is a robust coral and lives mostly solitary, growing on reefs all over the Indo-Pacific Ocean. Whereas juveniles attach themselves to rock, larger individuals are said to detach themselves and become free living. They exist in various colours. See also pa-kahrang. See also POSTAGE STAMP.