While snorkeling along Tobacco Cay Reef, we came across something amazing that made me realize how similar we all are!
A conch shell had ended it up at the top of a large formation of elk horn coral and the coral had begun to grow onto it! At first glance, I began to think of the crew on the Flying Ducthman from Pirates of the Caribbean: "part of the crew, part of the ship"
It made sense that these two completely different animals could grow in such a compatible way though. Coral polyps grow on a skeleton of calcium carbonate and the conch shell is made up of this same material, to the coral polyp, the conch shell is just another compatible structure to grow on!
While corals are endangered, these coral heads are vibrant and colorful (with only a slight amount of bleaching present). Hopefully, the oceans acidity will stay under control and this coral head will survive to completely cover the conch shell to produce a conch shaped elk horn coral.