Coral might appear solid and inanimate, but surprising new footage of a mushroom coral inflating itself to escape a sandy burial has brought the organism to life.
To move around, the corals "inflate and deflate" parts of their body. And, as the footage that Dr Bongaerts captured showed, they use a similar technique to free themselves from a covering of sand.
"The corals inflate and deflate their entire body in a series of rhythmic pulses," said Dr Bongaerts, "which allows them to effectively shed the sediment in a matter of hours.
"It's so crazy to see; it looks like another type of creature entirely."
He says that the idea of using time-lapse came from watching natural history documentaries.
"People often don't have the concept that corals are animals," he said. "But this really brings them to life."
"It's surprising that they're capable of such controlled movements."
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