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Any of various colonial corals of the order Gorgonacea (or Alcyonacea), having a usually branched skeleton of horny material and polyps with eight tentacles, and including the sea fans, sea feathers, and red corals.

[From Latin gorgonia, coral, from Gorgō, Gorgon-, Gorgon; see Gorgon.]

gor·go′ni·an adj.


(Animals) any coral of the order Gorgonacea, having a horny or calcareous branching skeleton: includes the sea fans and red corals
(Animals) of, relating to, or belonging to the Gorgonacea


(Classical Myth & Legend) of or resembling a Gorgon


(gɔrˈgoʊ ni ən)

1. any colonial coral of the order Gorgonacea, as the sea fan, forming a branching axial skeleton.
2. belonging or pertaining to the Gorgonacea.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.gorgonian - corals having a horny or calcareous branching skeleton
coral - marine colonial polyp characterized by a calcareous skeleton; masses in a variety of shapes often forming reefs
sea feather - corals forming featherlike colonies
sea fan - corals having a treelike or fan-shaped horny skeleton
red coral - corals of especially the Mediterranean having pink or red color used for ornaments and jewelry
References in classic literature ?
They ferry over this LETHEAN Sound Both to and fro, thir sorrow to augment, And wish and struggle, as they pass, to reach The tempting stream, with one small drop to loose In sweet forgetfulness all pain and woe, All in one moment, and so neer the brink; But fate withstands, and to oppose th' attempt MEDUSA with GORGONIAN terror guards The Ford, and of it self the water flies All taste of living wight, as once it fled The lip of TANTALUS.
The wonders are plentiful: Ethereal angelfish float through the brittle fingers of scarlet gorgonians, upstaging a shoal of sour-faced trevallies who sulk into the abyss.
Divers can find a wide variety of hard and soft corals, huge gorgonians, sponges and an endless variety of reef life.
The biology and functional morphology of Pteria brevialata (Bivalvia: Pterioidea), epizoic on gorgonians in Hong Kong.
The dive masters pointed out some of the unique creatures found in Raja Ampat, such as specimens of nudibranch and the tiny (less than one-centimetre) pygmy seahorse, which is adept at camouflaging itself on gorgonians.
These bivalves have been reported specifically as epizoans on mangrove roots, gorgonians, corals (Slack-Smith, 1998), decapod crustaceans (Fernandez-Leborans, 2010) and other mollusks (Cope, 1968; Eschweile & Buschbaum, 2011; Zell, Beckmann, & Stinnesbeck, 2014).
It is largely white with a bold red grid-like pattern that renders it almost invisible amongst the grid-like branches of the gorgonians it hangs out amongst.
The benthic community is composed of hard and soft corals, gorgonians, and a variety of sponges (Weaver et al.
Studies on diving impact have shown that raising sediment was the most frequent effect produced by divers, followed by contact with fragile organisms such as gorgonians, corals, and bryozoans [3, 5].
Being the capital, Kavaratti is the most developed of them all--and in your week-long cruise you can explore the island for its unusual marine life such as giant sea fans, gorgonians, giant trevally, sharks and schooling barracuda.
We also registered signs such as tissue mortality, overgrowdi or direct competition between corals, gorgonians and cyanobacteria.