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Does anyone know what this is?

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A friend of mine brought this back from southern California. Apparently came from the ocean in knee deep water.

I told him it looks like coral maybe. But he said there is no coral in southern California. So I figure I would ask all of you what you think. Any ideas?

 

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I don’t know what this is, exactly, but I know that it’s from some sort of sea creature. I’ve found stones coated in the same stuff.

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I agree its coral, but leather corals are supposed to be soft, and I did not think soft corals left a skeleton, only hard corals.  Google says there's plenty of coral in California.  Some of it is on the continental shelf, but it washing that far to shore would not be unheard of.

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8 hours ago, chrisski said:

I agree its coral, but leather corals are supposed to be soft, and I did not think soft corals left a skeleton, only hard corals.  Google says there's plenty of coral in California.  Some of it is on the continental shelf, but it washing that far to shore would not be unheard of.

That's interesting. I never thought to think of it as a skeleton.

Any idea what kind of coral leaves a skeleton like this? 

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Honestly don't know what type of coral.  Actually thought it may be some sort of sponge, but if that were true it would compress when squeezed.  The hard coral I'm used to seeing is wither the size of a hand or bigger, and is made of a skeleton that has hundreds of circles in it, each about the size of a pencil eraser or a little smaller that the creatures cluster around.  Looking at your pics a second time, it appears small, perhaps the size of a quarter.

The hard coral has different colors when alive, but when it dies and washes to shore, it is white.  The white is calcium carbonate.

D_Day might be able to elaborate on what he saw, or at least where he found it.

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It was on a chunk of sandstone that was full of piddock shells, and also had some tube worm remains. No idea where it came from. It was in the yard of the house we moved into when I was a tiny child.

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I’ve looked and looked trying to find out what type of animal left this behind, but have had no luck. I’d wager though that it was probably in a tide pool at some point.

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