Gor*go`ni*a"ce*a\, n. pl. [NL. See Gorgonia.] (Zo["o]l.) One of the principal divisions of Alcyonaria, including those forms which have a firm and usually branched axis, covered with a porous crust, or c[oe]nenchyma, in which the polyp cells are situated.

Note: The axis is commonly horny, but it may be solid and stony (composed of calcium carbonate), as in the red coral of commerce, or it may be in alternating horny and stony joints, as in Isis. See Alcyonaria, Anthozoa, C[oe]nenchyma.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
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