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Gorgonin is a complex protein that makes up the horny skeleton of the holaxonia suborder of gorgonians. It frequently contains appreciable quantities of bromine, iodine, and tyrosine.[1]

Scientific use[edit]

Research has shown that measurements of the gorgonin and calcite within species of gorgonia can be useful in paleoclimatology and paleoceanography. Studies of the growth, composition, and structure of the skeleton of certain gorgonia species, (e.g., Primnoa resedaeformis, and Plexaurella dichotoma) can be highly correlated with seasonal and climatic variation.[2][3][4]


  1. ^ Borneman, Eric H. (2001). Aquarium Corals: Selection, Husbandry, and Natural History. Neptune City, NJ 07753: T.F.H. Publications. p. 464. ISBN 1-890087-47-5. 
  2. ^ Heikoop, J.M.; M.J. Risk; C.K. Shearer; V. Atudorei (March 2002). "Potential climate signals from the deep-sea gorgonian coral Primnoa resedaeformis". Hydrobiologia. 471 (1–3): 117–124. doi:10.1023/A:1016505421115. 
  3. ^ Sherwood, Owen A.; Jeffrey M. Heikoop; Daniel J. Sinclair; David B. Scott; Michael J. Risk; Chip Shearer; Kumiko Azetsu-Scott (2005). Cold-Water Corals and Ecosystems. Erlangen Earth Conference Series. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. pp. 1061–1079. doi:10.1007/3-540-27673-4. ISBN 978-3-540-24136-2. 
  4. ^ Bond, Zoë A.; Anne L. Cohen; Struan R. Smith; William J. Jenkins (2005-08-31). "Growth and composition of high-Mg calcite in the skeleton of a Bermudian gorgonian (Plexaurella dichotoma): Potential for paleothermometry". Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 6 (8): Q08010. doi:10.1029/2005GC000911.