Corals and Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are the most diverse and beautiful of all marine habitats, and home to a myriad of animals that live in this complex biome. Coral reefs are under threat from climate change, ocean acidification, overuse of reef resources, and harmful land-use practices.

5,964 Questions
Corals and Coral Reefs
Oceans and Seas

What is the difference between estuaries and coral reefs?

They are completely different. An estuary is where a river joins the sea or, it is an outflow of freshwater into the ocean or sea. A coral reef is a strictly marine environment created by thousands of tiny organisms over thousands of years. It consists of the calcium skeletons of reef building organisms overlaid with living corals, anemones, clams, snails, fish etc etc.

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Oceans and Seas
Corals and Coral Reefs

What happens to coral reefs if they get too cold?

Some shallow-water coral reefs can grow in temperate waters where the temperatures are not as warm as the tropical waters off the coasts of Australia, the Bahamas, etc. but even these cannot withstand temperatures under 81 degrees Fahrenheit (with the exception of some in the Persian Gulf). Most corals die when they get too cold as they are extremely sensitive and do not have the capability to warm themselves up. Deep-water coral reefs have adapted to withstand the cold temperatures of deeper waters and thus do not face this problem.

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Marine
Corals and Coral Reefs

Will green hair algae kill corals?

In theory....no, the hair algae doesnt kill corals, what does kill the coral is hair algae growing profusely next to it preventing the coral extending its polyps and getting sun light. Algae can cover the 'mat' of some species of coral such as xenia and star polyps also preventing the polyps from extending and getting nutrients and sunlight.

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Another possibility is that some conditions that favor algae may not favor the life of the coral such as temperature of the wate and pH of the water.

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Animal Life
Corals and Coral Reefs

What class do corals belong to?

anthozoa

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Corals and Coral Reefs

What is the general appearance of the coral reef?

Colonies of coral take on many shapes and sizes. No two look the same. Some resemble plants, some resemble brains, some are spiraling while others are flat like a table top. All of these make up a coral reef. There are many different types of coral reef as well. There is atoll reef, barrier reef, fringing reef, table reef, apron reef, bank reef, patch reef and others. Each of these different types of coral reef grows in a different environment. For more information about the specific shapes associated with the reef types listed above, see the related link.

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Marine
Corals and Coral Reefs

When was the artificial coral reef invented?

Artificial Reefs were first used a few thousand years ago by the Persians, although they were used in times of war, mainly to block harbours.

The Japanese were the first to use them in the context of aquaculture back in the 17th century to grow kelp.

Since the 1970's the construction of artificial reefs has really taken off.

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Corals and Coral Reefs

Why are coral reefs at risk?

There are several primary reasons as to why coral reefs are in danger:

  • Rising acidity in the ocean -
    • Carbon dioxide in the air dissolves into the ocean, forming carbonic acid. This hinders coral organisms from marking their calcium carbonate shells, which form coral reefs. When the shells are stopped from being formed, the reef quickly decays. Due to increased carbon dioxide in the air from the burning of fossil fuels, coral reefs are increasingly in danger.
  • Bleaching -
    • High heat and sunshine in the ocean cause the coral to expel the symbiotic alge that live inside them. Extreme bleaching leads to coral death. Coral reefs are at greater danger currently because of increased global temperatures.
  • Direct damage -
    • Humans frequently damage coral reefs while harvesting fish. Such harmful methods include trawling for fish and shellfish, and by using dynamite or cyanide to stun fish. All of these methods end up severely damaging or killing the coral reefs.
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Marine
Biodiversity
Corals and Coral Reefs

How would biodiversity be affected if coral died?

Biodiversity would collapse because coral is the main food source for countless numbers of marine life and if coral died, the marine life that thrives on coral would die as well. This would cause the fish and other sea animals that feed on the marine life that feeds on coral to die and the effect would simply snowball. It would cause the Earth a major impact and the cost of this would be very high to us.

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Corals and Coral Reefs

How are coral reefs being protected?

Coral reefs are incredibly sensitive and thus much more open to disease and damage/destruction. Scientists, biologists, etc. are attempting to protect them by limiting what types and how much fishing occurs on a coral reef, limiting how much biotourism is allowed as some human diseases affect coral reefs as well as well as promoting the lessening of pollution and greenhouse gases. There are also laws in place to help protect the coral reefs and some coral reefs are protected areas much in the way national parks are often protected areas.

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Australia
Marine
Corals and Coral Reefs
Great Barrier Reef

Do plankton live in the Great Barrier Reef?

Yes plankton live everywhere where there is water.

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Corals and Coral Reefs
Octopus

What eats coral reef octopus?

Octopus are preyed upon by sharks, stingrays and other large, predatory fish.

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Corals and Coral Reefs

Can dead animals be found in the coral reef?

Yes. The animals that inhabit the coral reef have life cycles that they must go through and so all of them die at some point. This includes fish (including sharks), sea snakes, eels, sea slugs, sea anemones, starfish, clams, sea turtles, squid and other such creatures.

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Sharks
Corals and Coral Reefs

How do sharks effect coral reefs?

Well Firstly, the fish hide in the coral reefs to get away from sharks. However, the sharks know where the fish are and so visit the Reefs. When the sharks try to nose into the coral they find that they're too big to fit into it. But still, they persist and so end up squashing the coral.

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Corals and Coral Reefs
Flatworms

What is the complex invertebrate flatworm sponge coral or crab?

I had asked the same thing before but then I figured it out. Out of a flatworm, sponge, coral, or crab, the complex invertebrate is a crab.

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Endangered, Vulnerable, and Threatened Species
Corals and Coral Reefs

How can coral live in shallow warm water?

They need sunlight, and lots of it, because the way that they survive is the algae living inside of them, so they water needs to be shallow. It needs to be warm because algae cannot grow in cold environments.

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Corals and Coral Reefs

What are the activities of man that may destroy coral reefs?

Dynamite fishing, coral hunting, pollution, and over-fishing just to name a few.

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Corals and Coral Reefs
Colors

What does the color coral represent?

Usually a pastel like red color.

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Corals and Coral Reefs

What are the three dangers that coral reefs face?

  • water pollution
  • oil spills
  • water temperature rising
  • dead zones in the oceans
  • boats/people damage reef
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Marine
Corals and Coral Reefs
Great Barrier Reef

What skeletons makes the Great Barrier Reef?

It is made up of coral.

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Australia
Corals and Coral Reefs
Great Barrier Reef

Where is the Great Barrier Reef?

Considered one of the great natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef sits off the northeast coast of Australia. It is located in the Coral Sea and extends for a length of around 2300 km down the coast of the eastern state of Queensland. It is actually a series of reefs and atolls, with its northern end just south of Papua New Guinea. It is the largest coral reef in the world. Australia has almost one-fifth of the world's reef area most of which is located in the Great Barrier Reef. It is the largest structure on earth created by living things, hosts millions of ocean-living creatures, and can be seen from space.

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Ecosystems
Corals and Coral Reefs

Is coral an heterotroph?

yes because it obtain its food by its own

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Australia
Queensland
Marine
Corals and Coral Reefs
Great Barrier Reef

What is the length and area of the Great Barrier Reef?

Figures vary, but according to the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the Great Barrier Reef is approximately 2,300km long. It is located in the Coral Sea and lies parallel to the coast of Queensland. It is actually a series of reefs and atolls, with its northern end just south of Papua New Guinea, and its southern end near Lady Elliott Island, northeast of the city of Bundaberg. This is the equivalent of about 1,430 miles.

Australia has almost one-fifth of the world's reef area and most is located in the Great Barrier Reef, off the eastern coast. The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, which comprises more than just the coral reefs, atolls and islands of the Great Barrier Reef, covers around 348,000 sq km (134,363 sq miles) while the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park itself covers around 344,400 sq km.

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Corals and Coral Reefs

Why are there no coral reefs in coasts of UK?

it is because the type of organism that makes coral reef colonies , can not survive in great Britain's cold waters. It can only survive in warmer waters and would die in England's frigid water

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Corals and Coral Reefs

Where is tuba -taha found?

The Tubataha reef is in the Sulu Sea in the western Philippines.

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Antarctica
Corals and Coral Reefs

Are coral reefs found off the coast of Antarctica?

Yes, and you can read more about the coral reefs found off Antarctica's coast, below.

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