The Coral Reef

By Loren Kalman and Dillon Little

Locations

Great Barrier Reef (Australia), Belize (Central America) and Hawaii are examples of large Coral Reefs. Most Coral reefs are found in clear, tropical oceans.

Weather

Coral Reefs are very temperate and tend to have loads of sunshine and high humidity. The average rainfalls are listed below:

  • January- 405mm
  • February- 434mm
  • March- 424mm
  • April- 197mm
  • May- 99mm
  • June- 49mm
  • July- 30mm
  • August- 27mm
  • September- 35mm
  • October- 38mm
  • November- 89mm
  • December- 175mm

Variations

Like most plants, corals have different shaping characteristics that vary according to the environment where they occur, their geographic location, and genetic links among component populations. Colors include white, red, pink, green, blue, orange and purple, due to natural pigments and the zooxanthellae in their tissues.

Adaptations

Coral trout are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning that the entire species is born female but changes to male as the fish matures. Many species have evolved thin, flattened bodies that are effective in making sharp turns. This trait greatly facilitates a fish's ability to quickly maneuver about the solid reef. There are three different types of adaptations in organisms:

  • Physiological adaptations are an organism’s internal, cellular responses to environmental stimuli that help the organism survive. For example, some animals produce toxins that deter predators from eating them. Animals that hibernate are able to slow their metabolism and enter a sleep-like state. This helps them survive a season during which very little food is available. Deciduous trees also slow down their metabolism in the winter, becoming dormant and losing their leaves, which helps them survive the cold winter.
  • Structural adaptations are physical features of an organism that help it to survive and reproduce. The thumb is an example of a structural adaptation in humans. Webbed feet in ducks and other water birds are another example of a structural adaptation. They help ducks move through water efficiently.
  • Behaviors can also help an organism survive and reproduce. Migration is a behavioral adaptation. Many organisms undertake long journeys from one area to another for the sake of survival. In North America, some birds fl y south to warmer climates for the winter. Monarch butterflies migrate from Canada and the Northeast United States to Mexico to escape cold temperatures and fi nd food. In Africa, wildebeest undertake a migration of thousands of miles to find lush grazing lands.
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Exotic Species

Seagull, it would keep the parrotfish from overpopulation and it helps more animals interact in the Reef.
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Native Species Removal

Removing the Octopus would way overpopulate the Sea Slug and the Parrot Fish. The Shark would become lower in number too.
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