Corals are marine animals of the group Coelenterata, most of which are formed in vast colonies. The tiny creatures secrete a flexible horny material producing an intricate branching framework in which they live. In New Zealand waters there are a number of small species of corals, but none of the reef-building species of the tropics. The fan coral (Flabellum rubrum) is a simple coral, that is, it is produced by a single organism, not by a colony of animals, as in the case of most reef corals. This coral is found attached to the under side of boulders at and below low tide. The animal is salmon to dull vermilion and the base is pure white. It grows to about 1½ inches in height.
by Arthur William Baden Powell, Assistant Director, Auckland Institute and Museum.