Coral in 10 languages
Hands up if you thought coral was a plant – anyone? I remember reading that coral was an animal, but always thought of it as in the same category as seaweed, etc. It turns out that it’s much more complex than that!
Coral are invertebrate animals which generally live in colonies of identical, individual polyps. Corals generally live in tropical waters and get most of their energy from the sun, therefore are usually found in coral reefs in relatively shallow waters. Some corals however, can capture small fish and live in deeper waters without much sunlight.
Most corals secrete calcium carbonate and contribute to the development of coral reefs, one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet and known to host over 4000 species of fish and other marine creatures. Coral grows extremely slowly, at around 1cm a year and are currently under extreme stress due to changes in oceanic temperature and pH, among other factors. Apprximately 10% of the world’s coral reefs are already completely dead, with a further 60-80% (dependent on area) at risk due to human-related activities such as pollution, coral mining and blast fishing.
When I visited Sea Life Brighton a few months ago, I was fascinated to see what people are doing to help to protect and reviatalise coral reefs – even if you cannot volunteer to plant coral, there are a few ideas above that anyone and everyone could do today to make a difference!
Read more about the process of saving coral on the BBC website.
Have you learned something new today?
Do you have any other questions about coral?
What steps could you take today to help protect our oceans?
Thanks for reading!