How coral reefs begin
1. When a coral polyp attaches itself to a rock on the sea floor, then divides, a reef begins.
2. Thousands of identical coral polyps form a coral colony.
3. Coral polyps are related to sea anemones and jellyfish.
4. Coral polyps are translucent animals, so reefs get their colors from billions of zooxanthellae algae.
5. Zooxanthellae algae provide oxygen and food through photosynthesis.
6. Some coral reefs today began growing fifty million years ago.
7. Reefs that are large in size are between five and 10,000 years old.
Coral reef structures
1. A protective limestone skeleton, also called a calicle, forms the structure of coral reefs.
2. The material that makes the skeleton, either internal or external, is also coral.
3. A coral reefs shape forms a protective barrier against storm waves.
4. Coral reefs act as a filter that traps floating things in the water, making the water around it cleaner.
How coral reefs grow
1. Corals live in tropical waters, normally close to the surface so that the suns rays can reach the algae.
2. Reefs only occur in shallow areas where the sun can reach them.
3. Coral reefs need water in between sixty eight to eighty two degrees Fahrenheit and twenty to twenty eight degrees Celsius.
4. Reefs are usually found in a depth of 150 feet.
5. Coral reefs grow at a rate of two centimeters a year.
6. Reefs cover about one percent of the ocean floor.
Coral reef colors
1. Most coral species lose their color when they die or are removed from the water.
2. Corals can be white, red, pink, green, blue, orange, and purple due to natural pigment and algae.
3. Red coral, found in the Mediterranean sea, does not lose its color when removed from water.
4. If a coral reef appears to be white there is a pollution problem.
5. There are many different species and colors of coral.
Coral reef animal and plant life
1. Many species of sea life make their home in a coral reef.
2. Algae and sea grasses are the main plants in the coral ecosystem.
3. Sea grasses provide shelter for conch, lobster, and other species.
4. About twenty five percent of marine species rely on reefs for food and shelter.
5. Coral reefs are more diverse in plant life than animal life.
6. Reefs in the Florida Keys hold eighty two species of coral, five species of sea turtles, 500 fish species, mollusks, and sea sponges.
Types of coral reefs
1. Fringing reefs, barrier reefs, and coral atolls are the three types of coral reefs.
2. Fringing reefs are normally found in Hawaii and the Caribbean.
3. Coral Atolls are low coral islands surrounding a lagoon, found in the Indo Pacific.
4. Coral Atolls are made up partly of volcanic remains.
5. Reefs that are called Barrier reefs are called that because they protect shallow waters on a shore from the open sea.
Coral reef fun facts
1. Coral reefs are Marine animals that stay in one place throughout their entire lives.
2. Off the coast of Australia, the Great Barrier reef is the largest coral reef in the world at 1250 miles long.
3. The Great Barrier reef can be seen from outer space.
4. Coral reefs are big tourist attractions.
5. Scientists discovered that parts of a coral reef can be harvested to make medicine to treat sicknesses.
6. To preserve sea biomes the navy will sometimes sink old ships for a coral reef to grow on.
7. All the coral reefs on Earth added together would equal an area of about 110,000 miles.
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