What is Coral?

Coral stones

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Corals are marine animals that usually live in close colonies. Most are identical, and others may have slight differences. An individual coral is called as “polyps”. The polyp has no spine and is a few centimeters in length. Tentacles surround the central mouth, and an exoskeleton is toward the base. Coral has the ability to catch small fish and plankton using a certain sting cell that is located on the tentacles. Coral can be found in shallow waters because they require sunlight and grow in clear water. It is important for the structure of the coral reefs that are found in tropical and subtropical waters. Other types of coral are found in deeper waters. That type of coral is known as, Lophelia. Coral is divided into two subclasses. One subclass depends on the number of tentacles or lines of symmetry. Another on is a series of orders corresponding to their exoskeleton. Hermatypic corals are corals that are used to build reefs. Ahermatypic corals are known to be soft. They are flexible and are also seen with a lacy appearance. These can be found in the Caribbean. Perforate corals have various porous which can aid them with connecting to each other through the skeleton. There have solid skeletons. Coral is important factor when it comes to reefs. Coral gives a home to over 4,000 species of fish, massive amounts of cindria, mollusks, crustacean, and other animals. Large amounts of calcium carbonate are usually found in shallow tropical waters. They are built from coral skeletons, and are held together by many layers of calcium carbonate. Millions and millions of years ago fossils were extremely rare. Once the Ordovician period arrived is when rugose and tabulate corals became well known. Tabulate corals can be found in limestone. Coral reefs are harmed from the world. Certain threats that can be hazardous to coral is, pollution, over fishing, disease, digging of canals and driving boats into islands of bays can cause the destruction of a coral reef. Also the temperature of the water and the level of sea rise can affect the growth. Coral is very important to humans. Its various colors give it an appealing look for necklaces and other types of jewelry. Red coral is prized as a gemstone. It could also be known as fire coral and is very rare to find due to over harvesting. Reefs found on land provide lime as a product of building blocks. Is it important in places such as the East African coast.

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