From the BBC:
Predatory coral eats jellyfish
By Jody Bourton
Earth News reporter
A coral is recorded eating a jellyfish for the first time, in intriguing photographs taken by scientists.
Coral usually feed on tiny plankton as well as products provided by photosynthetic algae.
Yet the photos reveal a stationary mushroom coral sucking in a large moon jellyfish.
Researchers believe the ability to feed on a variety of food sources like jellyfish may give the coral an advantage in a changing world.
The researchers publish their findings in the journal Coral Reefs.
The pictures were taken on a dive by Mr Omri Bronstein from Tel Aviv University in Israel and Mr Gal Dishon from Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel in March 2009 during a survey on reefs near the Israeli city of Eilat in the Red Sea.
Ocean currents and nutrients had created a seasonal bloom of the jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) and many surrounded the reef in which the team were diving.
It was then they saw the strange behaviour.
“During the survey we were amazed to notice some mushroom corals actively feeding on the moon jellyfish,” says Ada Alamaru, a member of the research team who is doing her PhD in marine biology at Tel Aviv University, Israel.
“We couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw it,” Ms Alamaru says.
The moon jellyfish is known to be eaten by a number of predators including fish, turtles and sea birds.
However, to find it preyed upon by the mushroom coral (Fungia scruposa) was a unique discovery.
“This is the first documentation of a coral feeding on a jellyfish almost equal to its size,” Ms Alamaru says.
“In fact we saw a few corals feeding and not only one.”
Jellyfish swarm northward in warming world: here.
“Pink Meanie” Jellyfish Attacks Other Jellies: here.
England: A small group of divers and marine biologists, led by Steve Trewhella, have started a survey in Kimmeridge Bay to assess the stalked jellyfish population: here.
October 2011. Kent Wildlife Trust’s Marine Officer, Becky Hitchin, made an exciting discovery on the shores of Thanet – a significant breeding population of rare stalked jellyfish: here.
Doha, Qatar, 21 March 2010 – Governments participating in the United Nations’ species trade convention voted today against implementing better protection for red and pink coral, which are being overharvested to supply the international jewellery trade: here.