Anthozoans are composed of cylindrical-shaped individuals,
whose skeletons are called corallites. These individuals are either
solitary or bound together in a group, forming a colony. The base of the
corallite is usually attached to a firm substrate, where it remains fixed
for its entire adult life (sometimes several centuries). Within each corallite
are several partitions called septa, which radiate out from the
central axis of the cylinder. Horizontal structures or platforms which
extend across each corallite are called dissepiments (IF irregular
or blister like) or tabulae (IF flat plates). The living animal
or polyp occupies only the uppermost portion (calyx) of each
corallite. During growth, the polyp secretes skeletal material near its
base and slowly moves upward toward the surface.
Last updated on February 24, 1997-jlc.