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Coral Reefs. By: Quinn Basewitz. Parts of Coral. A little piece of coral is called a polyp. It takes a hundred years for a inch of coral to grow. The inside of the polyp is almost all stomach. The stinging tentacles capture prey and carry the food to the mouth.

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coral reefs

Coral Reefs


Quinn Basewitz

parts of coral
Parts of Coral
  • A little piece of coral is called a polyp. It takes a hundred years for a inch of coral to grow.
  • The inside of the polyp is almost all stomach.
  • The stinging tentacles capture prey and carry the food to the mouth.
  • When the coral dies it leaves it’s skeleton behind, and other coral builds on top of it to make a reef.
location of coral reefs
Location of Coral Reefs
  • Most coral reefs are located between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer, which is in green on the map on the right.
  • The water temperature has to be at least 64 degrees F, but not higher than 86 degrees F for coral to live because if it is too hot, the coral reef will let go of it’s algae and die. It needs the algae because the algae and coral give food to each other. This is called symbiosis.
  • Coral has to live in water with a depth of less than 120 feet, so that sunlight reaches the algae so it can make food for the coral.
location of largest coral reef
Location of Largest Coral Reef
  • The biggest reef (which is in Australia) is 1,240 feet long. It is called The Great Barrier Reef. On the map it is off the Northeast coast of Australia, located in white.
some types of coral open brain coral flower coral purple mushroom coral and closed brain coral
Some Types of Coral:Open Brain Coral, Flower Coral, Purple Mushroom Coral, and Closed Brain Coral
ways coral reefs benefit people
Ways Coral Reefs Benefit People
  • Did you ever think about how coral reefs benefit people? Here are a few ways.
  • Coral Reefs provide homes for 25 percent of Earth’s Underwater Species. Some of the Plants and Animals that live in the Reef are being used to make cures for diseases.
  • Some of the animals in the Reef are food for people.
  • Coral Reefs also supply recreation as you see in the picture to the right.
  • They also give income for people working in the coral reef.
how do living creatures in coral reefs depend on each other
How do Living Creatures in Coral Reefs Depend on Each Other?
  • Algae and coral are some living creatures that help each other. Algae lives in a polyp. The algae gives food to the polyp. The polyp gives food to the algae. This is called symbiosis and mutualism.
  • Coral reefs give fish a way to hide from predators. Coral reefs give camouflage for fish that live there.
  • Fish, crabs, shrimp, sponges, and sea grasses live in coral.
ways humans affect coral reefs
Ways Humans Affect Coral Reefs
  • We hurt coral reefs in many different ways. We pollute coral reefs so many ways that they might be gone in 20 years.
  • The fertilizers and herbicides wash into the water and hurt coral reefs. The fertilizer makes the algae grow too fast and this attracts animals that hurt coral. The herbicides kill the algae that make the food for the coral reefs and also kill other plants.
  • Tourists kill the coral when they touch it.
  • Coral reefs also get hurt through global warming because when coral is too hot, it lets go of its algae.
  • The silt in runoff water blocks the sunlight that the algae need to make food.
  • As shown in the picture on the right, fishermen blast fish and poison fish near coral reefs and both activities kill polyps and algae.
protecting coral reefs
Protecting Coral Reefs
  • We want to help coral so it will be here for hundreds of years. Here are 3 ways:
  • Stop global warming by using less polluting gases.
  • Stop blast fishing.
  • And most importantly, control pollution.
interesting facts i really want to share
Interesting Facts I Really Want to Share!
  • Coral gets it’s color from the algae that lives inside the coral.
  • Red coral is the only coral that does not lose it’s color when it is taken out of the water.
  • Coral is a carnivore.
  • A group of coral polyps are called a colony.
  • The life span in the wild of coral polyps is between 2 and several hundred years. The life span of a colony is between 5 years and several centuries.
  • Coral Reef Alliance
  • Fisheye View Cam
  • Harcourt School Publishers
  • Missouri Botanical Garden
  • National Ocean Service Education
  • Office of Naval Research
  • Time for Kids,28391,59687,00.html