Written by Gary W.Davis
Ever wondered how coral reefs form and if they are important. Coral reefs provide the only food and shelter for miles around their location. Their are different types of coral in each coral reef. Four types are Elkhorn coral, Brain coral, Fire coral, and Pillar coral. The coral is made from tiny sea animals called coral polyps. Coral polyps take calcium from sea water to build limestone houses around their bodies. All coral colonies are made of limestone.
Each tiny polyp has tentacles surrounding its mouth to get food. The tentacles have stingers which catch plankton floating by. Brand new colonies start from fertilized eggs, then like budding plants coral grows at their tips and edges. Colonies branch upward and outward taking about 50 years or more for a colony to grow 3 feet. Sea anemones attach to the coral reef and stay in that same location. Coral reefs and little fish that are blue and black which keep the fish and the reef clean.