7 Facts about Coral Reefs, Sea Animals Are Often Mistaken as Plants

7 Facts about Coral Reefs, Sea Animals Are Often Mistaken as Plants

Coral Reef Illustration

Coral Reef Illustration


Netgenz - Sains | Coral reefs are recognized for their beautiful colors, available in many different sizes and shapes, and as iconic landscapes found in some of the Earth's water bodies. Apart from being one of the magnets for marine recreation, corals play an important role in the ecosystem and hold some interesting evidence.

In the following, we will review the amazing evidence about coral reefs. Read the info compiled from the websites of Marine Insight and The Reef-World Foundation.

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1. Coral reefs are animals, not plants

Coral Reef Illustration

Coral Reef Illustration


Corals are at the bottom of the sea, which has led some to think that coral reefs are plants. But in reality, corals are animals that are grouped as Cnidarians.

Corals are divided into a central polyp surrounded by a hard exoskeleton. Polyps are cylindrical creatures that have small tentacles at one end. Over millions of years, this exoskeleton grows to make corals. Polyps reproduce to form planula which adds to the area of ​​coral reefs.

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2. Requires sunlight to grow

Coral Reef Illustration

Coral Reef Illustration


Clear and shallow water is the most suitable location for coral reefs to thrive. Coral reefs usually grow best at depths of less than 70 meters, where sunlight is easily accessible.

Corals and algae have a symbiotic relationship where live algae are attached to corals and algae are beautiful coloring on the corals. However, if the water is too warm, the coral will release algae which cause the coral color to fade to white.

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3. One of the slowest-developing creatures on earth

Coral Reef Illustration

Coral Reef Illustration


In water, corals grow to cover most areas, but this is a process that takes time. Corals are actually one of the slowest growing creatures on Earth, with a predicted growth of 1 cm/year. This means that it takes about 1 million years to grow 1 sq km of coral.

The rate of coral development is controlled by factors, such as nutrition and water quality. For example, healthy coral that grows in an area with sufficient sunlight and no pollution can grow more than 10 cm/year.

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4. Corals are home to millions of species of marine flora and fauna

Coral Reef Illustration

Coral Reef Illustration


If on earth there is a jungle that contains trees and other plants as a home for various types of animals, therefore corals play a role as a jungle in the sea because they provide enormous support for the underwater ecosystem. In the ocean, coral reefs harbor a variety of life, from algae, fish, seabirds, crustaceans, turtles, sharks, and dolphins.

This is because coral reefs offer protection for creatures that live in the sea. This protection is in the form of gaps and rooms where fish can hide and take refuge from predators. In addition, the marine life surrounding coral reefs offers a healthy nutritional transition that ensures the supply of necessary vitamins and minerals.

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5. The various colors of corals are caused by algae growing with corals

Coral Reef Illustration

Coral Reef Illustration


Corals are known to have several beautiful colors so that they are often used for marine recreation. But how do corals acquire some of these colors and why do they sometimes differ in color?

Nach, this colorful coral is due to the symbiosis of corals with zooxanthellae. Zooxanthellae are a type of algae that grow in corals and share a symbiotic relationship with polyps.

Zooxanthellae have different colors based on the species and because of the presence of chlorophyll. The specific colors of this algae are brown and green, but some cheerful colors can appear due to environmental changes. Coral reefs that grow near the surface are more colorful because algae can use sunlight more effectively.

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6. Coral reefs help filter and improve seawater quality

Coral Reef Illustration

Coral Reef Illustration


Polyps have a character that is most sensitive to small changes around them. Changes in temperature, salinity, pH, and particulate focus can cause polyps to die. For this reason, coral becomes an innate mechanism that acts as a filtration mechanism.

Corals use a very small filter that coats the shell to remove particles. They adapt to small shifts in temperature and salinity.

Because of their power to improve water quality for survival, corals have a positive impact on local ecology. Organisms in coral reefs benefit from this and can get clean and filtered water.

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7. Coral reefs play a role in hurricane mitigation

Coral Reef Illustration

Coral Reef Illustration


Coral reefs as an integral part of reducing the impact of hurricanes and storms. During a series of hurricanes that hit the east coast of North America and the Caribbean in the 2000s, areas with coral reefs handled storms better.

Coral reefs can reduce energy by almost 97% so they can control the harmful effects of tsunamis and storms. Interestingly, the reef has a similar role to the breakwater embankment built outside the pier. Some hurricane-prone countries can reduce the loss of life and property by almost 30% with just a few dozen meters. coral that stretches from the shoreline.

Apparently, coral reefs as marine animals are unique and have many benefits. Therefore, we must maintain the unity of coral reefs in the sea by not destroying them and not buying accessories from coral reefs.

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