Bamboo coral, family Isididae, is a family of mostly deep-sea coral of the phylum Cnidaria. It is a commonly recognized inhabitant of the deep sea, due to the clearly articulated skeletons of the species. Deep water coral species such as this are especially affected by the practice of bottom trawling. These organisms may be an important environmental indicator in the study of long term climate change, as some specimens of bamboo coral have been discovered that are 4,000 years old.
Relatively little is known about bamboo coral. The skeletons of bamboo coral are made up of calcium carbonate in the form of tree-like branches alternating with joint-like nodes or axes composed of gorgonin protein. The alternation of the bony structures with the smaller gorgonin parts give the bamboo coral a finger-like appearance similar to that of the bamboo plant on land. Ages and growth rates of bamboo coral in the deepest water are unknown. However, based on radiocarbon-based growth rate and age data from specimens in the Gulf of Alaska, the life span has been estimated to be between 75 and 126 years.