Here it is just after I purchased it. Notice the bony plates and the small bubble polyps showing from in between the plates. All of the plates are white, covered with living coral tissue.
The view from above, with all of the polyps deflated.
Here it is fully inflated: notice that the stony center is now invisible, covered with the bubble shaped polyps.
Another view from above, this time with many of the polyps partially inflated. Notice one of the stony plates at the top of the picture now has turned brown/black. The coral tissue died and receded from many of the tips of the plates, either because I handled it improperly, or because it was damaged during collection.
Another view of the expanding coral. Notice that the polyps are not totally bubble shaped at this point.
A close-up of the fully inflated bubble polyps, showing their surface texture.
Another view from on top. The damaged plates can be seen clearly at 12:00, 11:00, 8:00, and 7:00.
A view from the side, showing how translucent the polyps are. The damaged plates can also be seen very clearly.
Another close-up of the polyps, in their "pointy" shape phase.
Here are the polyps, again, showing them mid-way between the pointy and fully round shapes.
Another view of the transitional shape.
Another view from on top. Notice how different the polyps look now. This coral has many "faces" to show you if you are patient.
Fully inflated, and in the late day winter sun of Vermont. The polyps are huge, elbowing each other as they expand to their full size. This is a happy coral! Most of the damaged plates appear to have repaired themselves over the year that I have kept this specimen.