Canadian Marine Life Encyclopedia
Also known as
Soft red coral
Polar to temperate Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific oceans
Soft and hard substrates
Class Anthozoa (corals, anemones & relatives), Order Alcyonacea (soft corals)
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Sea strawberries are a type of colonial coral comprised of many individual animals, called polyps. Sea strawberries are a type of soft coral, which means they do not produce stony calcium carbonate skeletons like many of the larger, more iconic tropical corals. Instead, their skeletons are made up of small, stiff, spiny elements called sclerites, which help to give the coral structure and provides a substrate for the polyps to grow, feed and reproduce on. Sea strawberries can be found in polar to temperate regions in the Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans on soft and hard substrates. Large clusters of sea strawberries are collectively known as strawberry grounds, and are recognized as being important nursery and feeding habitats for lobsters, basket stars, and more.