Coral Reefs

Topics: Coral, Coral reef, Cnidaria Pages: 3 (759 words) Published: May 8, 2013
Coral & Coral Reefs
Coral needs light to thrive and grow, but they grow faster in clean water. The largest coral reef in the world is the Great Barrier Reef located off north western Australia. This reef covers 135,000 square miles. There are a wide variety of coral. They all have unbelievable fun facts, unusual habitats, unique characteristics, and interesting behaviors. Fun Facts

There are many unbelievable fun facts about coral.
Coral are small creatures, that often live together in groups called colonies. Individual coral are called polyps and they are less than one-sixth of an inch and the highest is twelve inches. They are a wide variety of different shapes.

There are a wide variety of coral.
There is brain coral which is smooth, spherical and mound.
There is finger coral that is made up of spiky branches.
Another type of coral is pillar coral, which are grouped in columns. Lastly, there is cabbage coral which look like cabbage.
The two basic types of coral are hard and soft.
Hard coral builds reefs and develop outer skeletons, which become the base on which the reef grows. However, soft coral is flexible and grows quickly.
This coral is made up of tiny crystals.
There are many inhabitants of coral.
Coral is populated by over 4,000 different species.
These include butterfly fish, sea snakes, sea horses moray eels and many more. Habitat
Coral and coral reefs are found in unusual habitats, at the bottoms of the sea. Coral can be found from water surfaces 19,700 feet under sea level. They live in light absorbing adaptations.
This enables some reef building corals to live in dim blue light. Coral is found in warm oceans consisting of temperatures sixty-eight to eighty-seven degrees Fahrenheit. This is necessary for precipitation of calcium for polyp’s skeleton. Precipitation occurs when water temperatures and salinity are high and carbon dioxides concentration must be low. Most typical coral reefs started on a hard...
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