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Transcript of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbIoZH710UAhttps://www.youtu
Polyps and their Functions:
Types of Coral:
Hard Corals: Secrete calcium carbonate to produce a rigid skeleton, and have reef building capabilities. When the reefs join together, they create a variety of shapes.
Soft Corals: Have a spiny
skeletal element called sclerites, which give these corals a spiky, grainy texture that detours prey.
Healthy Coral Reefs
Coral Reef from Space
Coral reefs are made and built up by Polyps; translucent animals that are the digestive and reproductive tissue in coral. Polyps secrete skeletons from the underside of their skin. These skeletons, made from calcium carbonate, protect the coral animals from predators and also offer a substrate on which new coral polyps can attach themselves. The polyps only come out to feed and occasionally fight one another, which is why they are considered living.
Within the Polyps lives a unicellular algae called zooxanthellae. They are photosynthetic protists that help the coral receive their energy and nutrients. the zooxanthellae are also responsible for the variety of color coral reefs have.
In addition to the symbiotic relationship the zooxanthellae and polyps have, corals also consume living pray, which range from zooplankton to small fish.
Corals are a marine invertebrate that falls under the Phylum Cnidoria and class Anthozoa. They are related to jellyfish and anemones; and require polyps to survive.
What is Coral?
Rainforests of the Sea
Reefs begin when a polyp attaches itself to a rock on the sea floor, then divides into thousands of clones. The polyp calicles (CaCO3) connect to one another, creating a colony that acts as a single organism. As colonies grow over hundreds and thousands of years, they join with other colonies and become reefs. This diverse ecosystem has become the base for 25% of all ocean life... basically it is the rainforest of the ocean.
The Beginning of Reefs:
Why are they important?
Coral reefs support more species per unit area than any other marine environment
Are used to further medical advancements
Maintain carbon dioxide levels in the ocean
Reefs act as a buffer to protect the shore from storms like typhoons and hurricanes
One billion of the human population depend on these reefs for food and fishery income
Destruction of Coral Reefs
Overfishing/ destructive fishing practices
Tourism and Resorts
Coral mining/ sedimentation
How to help the reefs:
Practice safe and responsible snorkeling/ diving
Help reduce pollution
Plant a tree
Use chemical free sunscreen
Corals are not gifts
Be informed/ spread the word