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Often mistaken for plants, soft corals including the deep water sea fan (Iciligorgia schrammi), and the giant slit-pore sea rod (Plexaurella nutans), attach themselves to a hard substrate and slowly move with the natural wave action. Sponges like this orange elephant ear sponge (Agelas clathrodes) are water filters for the reef. They filter up to 30,000 times their body volume every day. (photo: Florida Keys NMS)

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