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Because yes, it does exist, and it’s called the Elkhorn coral, scientifically known as Acropora palmata. It is a species of hard coral that belongs to the Acroporidae family. It gets its common name due to the shape of its branches, which resemble the antlers of an elk. It has a calcareous skeleton, and its colonies can grow in the form of branching masses or plates, as its polyps are small and have tentacles to capture plankton and other food from the water.

This coral is native to the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, but you can also find it while diving in Isla Aguja or Playa Granate, or throughout the Tayrona National Park in the city of Santa Marta while diving with the Caribbean Pro Dive Center. It is mainly found in shallow waters, on coral reefs, and protected areas. It is an important species in coral reef ecosystems as it provides shelter and habitat for a variety of marine organisms.

Unfortunately, this coral is endangered due to various threats, such as climate change, ocean acidification, pollution, coral diseases, and habitat degradation. These threats have led to a significant decline in the populations of this species in recent decades.

Conservation and protection efforts are essential to help preserve the Elkhorn coral and other endangered corals. This includes the creation of marine protected areas, regulation of human activities that harm reefs, promotion of sustainable fishing practices, and reduction of coastal pollution
Do you dare to see this wonder creature with your own eyes? Come, Caribbean Pro dive center is waiting for you!

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