Amazing Coral Reef Facts

A coral reef is one of nature’s most fascinating works of art. It’s important for kids and adults to understand why they have to be protected. Let’s see how come coral reefs are so interesting and important!

Several interesting facts and information are available below:

  • 3 types of coral reefs can be found: coral atolls, barrier reefs, and fringing reefs;
  • a coral reef is very complex. It’s basically an environment that hosts one-third of the world’s fish species. A coral reef consists of coral organisms. The latter are more commonly known under this name: polyps. These have bodies which are both soft and small;
  • the structure of a coral reef is made of calicle. This is the polyp’s skeleton, which has a protective role due to its hard surface;
  • in fact you’ll find coral reefs in tropical and subtropical oceans. The depth a coral reef can reach is approximately 450 feet (137 meters);coral-reef
  • corals need the sun’s rays. That’s why, they live as close to the water’s surface as possible;
  • a coral reef is home to various sea creatures. Apart from plants, this ecosystem contains plants, crabs, starfish, and shrimp. The coral reefs have these, too: jellyfish, oysters, sea urchins, and sea turtles. You can also come across fungi, sponges, clams, sea worms, and sea slugs;
  • polyps are some of the simplest organisms. Another interesting fact: they have a mouth with tentacles, and a stomach. This organism feeds on small creatures, such as plankton and so on. The tentacles do their job by stinging and then devouring the prey. Feeding is done at night. Nutrients are also received via an alga’s photosynthesis;
  • there’s another purpose to these tentacles. Polyps use them to protect themselves against predators;
  • the growth of a coral reef is slow. The growth rate is 0.3 cm-10 cm in a year;
  • polyps live in coral colonies. These are made of identical polyps. A coral is able to develop at a faster rate when microscopic algae are involved. These organisms are called Symbiodinium. They are also known to feed the coral;
  • when one colony is created, it comes together with many others. What comes out of this is a reef. This is how the Great Barrier Reef appeared. The first ever coral reef is more than 50 million years old;
  • the Great Barrier Reef can be found in Australia. It has more than 900 islands; there are also 2,900 individual reefs in it. You can see it from cosmos. If you want to explore it, you will find that there are more than 400 coral species there;
  • a coral polyp is translucent. This makes a reef rich in both strange and beautiful colors. The algae which give off these hues are called zooxanthellae . There are billions of them;
  • the size of a polyp is 0.25-12 in (that’s 0.63-30.5 cm). When it’s in a colony, a polyp can live 5 years-a couple of centuries. If it’s alone, the usual lifespan is 2 years-hundreds of years;
  • reefs that can be found in the Florida Keys have many species of different creatures. There are 5 sea turtle species, 45 stony coral species, and 500 fish species. Researchers have also discovered 1,700 mollusk species, 37 octocoral species, and hundreds of sponge species;
  • besides being beautiful, a coral reef is actually really helpful. Without it, several things could happen. For one, people inhabiting coastlines wouldn’t have food. In fact without them, shorelines couldn’t be safe against big waves. Coral reefs keep water healthy. They also help fish release their eggs in full safety;coral-reef-fish
  • the zooxanthellae we mentioned can become stressed. Reasons for this may be pollution, change in temperature and so on. When something like this happens, corals take the algae out. The coral bleaching that follows will end up in a dead colony;
  • a coral reef requires a temperature of 21-29 °C. If it has a white color, pollution is affecting it;
  • the shape of a coral varies. Some of the most famous ones are those which look like a honeycomb. Another popular shape is the brain one. Corals shaped like trees are also common.

A lot of coral reefs disappear. From the remaining ones, 75% are either lost or in danger of extinction. 25% are estimated to die in 30 years’ time.

We need to take care of our coral reefs. Do you think so, too? If the facts above were interesting, tell us below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. More Info | Close