Coral Basics

Coral Basics

We have talked about coral at the University before, but we thought it would be good to have a refresher about these amazing tiny animals.

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Coral Fun Facts:

  • Each animal is attached to the next by a hard exoskeleton.
  • The large coral colonies are fixed to one spot. The individual animals can pull their tentacles into their exoskeleton for protection.
  • They have tentacles with stinging cells that help them catch their prey!
  • Coral are related to jellies and anemones.
  • Coral share their homes with zooxanthella  (zō′ə-zăn-thĕl′ə), a type of algae. The zooxanthella and coral polyp help each other survive.
  • The coral provide a home for the zooxanthella and the zooxanthella provide oxygen and nutrients for the coral.
  • The zooxanthella also give the corals their colors!
  • Because the zooxanthella need sun to make energy (photosynthesis), coral reefs are located in shallow waters.
  • As coral grow, they help build shelter for many kinds of animals in the reef. Those calcium carbonate bodies build the reef.
  • Some fish, like parrotfish eat coral. The fish’s poop then becomes sand. Much of the sand in the Caribbean is parrotfish poop!
  • You can often see new growth on a coral by seeing the white tips!

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Now that we all know more about corals! We will get our diving equipment ready for exploring these amazing habitats!

 

 

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Coral Basics

  1. dangrdafne

    I LOVE the Hi I’m … photo. LOL

    and then this

    “Much of the sand in the Caribbean is parrotfish poop!” – WHAT?????

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