Bubblegum Coral | Oceana Canada

Canadian Marine Life Encyclopedia

Bubblegum Coral

Paragorgia arborea

Distribution

Sub-polar to polar waters in the North Atlantic and North-eastern Pacific

Ecosystem/Habitat

Hard or soft sediment in areas with strong currents

Feeding Habits

Filter feeder

Conservation Status

Not listed

Taxonomy

Class Anthozoa (corals, anemones & relatives); Order Alcyonacea (soft corals)

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Bubblegum corals are one of the largest coral species found in North America. They get their name  from their appearance: they are often bright pink and the polyps at the end of their branches resemble wads of gum. These polyps are individual animals that make up the coral colony. Bubblegum corals are cold, deep-water corals that rely on filter feeding. Each polyp has eight tentacles, which usually emerge at night to feed. The tentacles capture prey, such as plankton, that drift by in the ocean currents.

Bubblegum coral have not been assessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), nor have they been listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). They are a fairly widespread and well-studied cold water coral, however they are threatened by ocean warming, acidification and destructive fishing practices.