Corals are marine animals in class Anthozoa of phylum Cnidaria typically living in compact colonies of many identical individual "polyps". The group includes the important reef builders that inhabit tropical oceans and secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton.
A coral "head" is a colony of myriad genetically identical polyps. Each polyp is a spineless animal typically only a few millimeters in diameter and a few centimeters in length. A set of tentacles surround a central mouth opening. An exoskeleton is excreted near the base. Over many generations, the colony thus creates a large skeleton that is characteristic of the species. Individual heads grow by asexual reproduction of polyps. Corals also breed sexually by spawning: polyps of the same species release gametes simultaneously over a period of one to several nights around a full moon.
Although corals can catch small fish and plankton, using stinging cells on their tentacles, most corals obtain the majority of their energy and nutrients from photosynthetic unicellular algae called zooxanthellae that live within the coral's tissue. Such corals require sunlight and grow in clear, shallow water, typically at depths shallower than 60 metres (200 ft). Corals can be major contributors to the physical structure of the coral reefs that develop in tropical and subtropical waters, such as the enormous Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Other corals do not have associated algae and can live in much deeper water, with the cold-water genus Lophelia surviving as deep as 3,000 metres (9,800 ft). Examples live on the Darwin Mounds located north-west of Cape Wrath, Scotland. Corals have also been found off the coast of the U.S. in Washington State and the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.
Other articles related to "coral, corals":
... A coral island is a type of island formed from coral detritus and associated organic material ... They occur in tropical and sub-tropical areas, typically as part of coral reefs which have grown to cover a far larger area under the sea ...
... Montipora capricornis is one of the more common species of SPS coral available on the market ... It is considered to be a good beginner's SPS coral, due to the fact that it is much more tolerant of under-ideal conditions than its relative, Acropora ... This Montipora coral prefers a water temperature of a stable 75 to 80 °F (24 to 27 °C) ...
... Montipora capricornis is a very common species of coral, particularly in the Indian and Pacific oceans, as well as in reefs in the Red Sea ... will "branch out" from their foundation into an area with adequate sunlight.Also known as leaf coral vase coral and pagoda coral ... It also lives in coral reefs and enjoys warm sunny temperatures ...
... Coral aquaculture, also known as coral farming or coral gardening, is the cultivation of corals for commercial purposes or coral reef restoration ... Aquaculture is showing promise as a potentially effective tool for restoring coral reefs, which have been declining around the world ... The process bypasses the early growth stages of corals when they are most at risk of dying ...
... Cape Coral High School is located in Cape Coral, Florida ... It is one of four high schools in the city of Cape Coral and is also a part of the Lee County School District system ...
Famous quotes containing the word coral:
“Full fathom five thy father lies,
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes;
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark! Now I hear themding-dong bell.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)
“The cities are the principal home and seat of the human group. They are the coral colony for Man, the collective being.”
—Alfred Döblin (18781957)