Another task was to shoot the
And here we go! It is an example of Eupectella aspergillum, or Venus Flower Basket. So, we have a linguistic commonality of these two unrelated creatures! Venus Comb (snail) and Venus Flower Basket (sponge).
A terrific nature photographer, Socrate Gentile, helped to identify this when I posted it on the Fred Miranda Forum. He also provided a link to a video which I highly recommend. The materials use and formation of the coral is fascinating, as is the way it functions as optical fibers to "pipe" bioluminescence emitted by micro-organisms on the seabed a kilometer and more below the surface of the ocean. The whole coral becomes a glowing organism, perhaps to lure food, and (my own speculation) perhaps also to draw the symbiotic shrimp which enter as a male-female pair when young, then are unable to leave, and create their own brood from within the sponge.
Do watch the video! By the way, on Fred Miranda, Socrate uses the screen name Shasoc, and mine is Photon.
I may have to try harder to make noticeable use of the fiber optic properties of this Venus Flower Basket!
From the essay attached to the YouTube video:
"Euplectella aspergillum, also known as the "Venus flower-basket" is one of the most unique and interesting lifeforms on earth. This is a truly alien-like organism as this species of sponge has a silica exoskeleton which forms an intricate cage, held together by protein filaments only a few nanometers across. In effect, this animal is almost entirely made of a nano-structured glass."