Coral Reef

Sarah Zimmerle and Caroline Pound

Life Under Land

To be able to withstand the rapid currents of the ocean, grasses in coral reefs have larger cells to be able to transfer nutrients to the coral on the reef. Many animals that live in the coral work as a team to help protect their habitat from predators such as parasites, barracuda fish, and larger fish. Some plants have special ability to shock the predators and some fish have the ability to hide themselves.


Coral polyps have a symbiotic relationship with tiny plant-like organsims called zooxanthellae. Zooxanthellae live in the cells of the polyp where they have access to sunlight. The zooxanthellae use the light to preform photosynthesis and produce food, which is shared with the coral. The zooxanthellae get sunlight and protection; the coral polyps gets food. Everyone wins.


Clownfish are the simple creatures that can live inside an actiniaria without getting shocked. They are small because they need to be able to protect the plant from predators and they also need to be able to get away from them. Sharks are bigger because they are carnivorous and need to be able to eat the smaller fish with no issues.

Life Without Plankton

Without the zooplankton, the clownfish, parrotfish, rabbitfish, and shrimp have to rely on a different food source. The shrimp suffer the most because the plankton was their main food provider. The shrimp will slowly become extinct unless they settle for a different type of plankton which they most likely will.

Bringing in a Penguin

Penguins are from the Tundra biome. The penguin will eat mostly the blue chromis, angelfish, butterflyfish, and barracuda. Many other organisms eat these fish and adding a penguin to help devour them could easily lower these fishes population in the coral reef.