Coral Reefs

Coral reefs can easily be home to thousands of sea creatures. They are obviously very important to our oceans. There are so many different shapes, colors, and, you won’t believe this, species of coral out there! I’m going to show you what coral really is and what is so cool about it!

Just so you know, when I said species over there, it wasn’t a mistake. Coral is alive! They are living, breathing organisms that need to eat and “breathe”. They need sunlight to grow, but too much sun can be bad for them, like if you get sunburn at the beach. But some coral reefs don’t need the sun. Deep sea coral reefs don’t need photosynthesis to survive. They are also the slowest growing animals on Earth, only growing about at around 5-10 cm per year. Coral reefs are giant colonies of coral, all living together. Coral also cleans the water they are in, because no one wants to live in murky water. Fun fact, coral reefs date back to 240 million years ago. By the way, coral reefs have about a quarter of the world’s marine life living in them! About 4,000 fish species live in coral reefs. 

Did you know that coral doesn’t have color? It’s only colorful because of the algae that grows on it. One of the biggest and most colorful coral reefs is the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It has over 3,000 individual reefs. Did you know that it can be seen from space? It’s huge!

People also rely on coral reefs, too! Many people rely on the fish we eat from reefs. Coral reefs can slow down incoming storms. They also are huge tourist attractions, which can help cities thrive.

Coral reefs have so many great benefits and purposes! They are essential for aquatic creatures to thrive. 

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