Friday, 4 June 2010

coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by coral

often known as rain forests of the sea & the most diverse ecosystems on earth

corals are colonies of tiny living animals found in the marine waters containing few nutrients

most coral reefs are built from stony corals & are formed by polyps that live together in groups

the polyps secrete a hard carbonate exoskeleton which provides support & protection for the body of each polyp

reefs grow best in warm, shallow, clear, sunny & agitated waters

reefs are home & hotel to a large variety of organisms including fish, seabirds, sponges, cnidarians (jellyfish), worms, crustaceans (shrimp, spiny lobsters, cleaner shrimp & crabs), molluscs (cephalopods), echinoderms (starfish, sea urchins & sea cucumbers), sea squirts, sea turtle & sea snakes

coral reefs deliver ecosystem services to tourism, fisheries & shoreline protection!

credits: livescience, wikipedia, flickr & various source


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