Coral reefs are like the rainforests of the sea, and like those here on land, they are being destroyed. Coral are not just colourful rocks. Tiny living things live in there. Those “rocks” are actually the skeletons of polyps. Polyps constantly secrete calcium carbonate to build these protective skeletons. Therefore, people say coral reefs are living, not because the calcium structures are alive, but because the polyps live inside those structures like a turtle in a shell. Coral is related to jellyfish, and sea anemones and are not mobile animals, instead they anchor and live their whole lives in one place. As they grow and die, more coral grow on top of them, and over millions of years, coral pile together to form giant coral reefs that create the basis for 25 percent of all ocean life.
Importance of Coral Reefs
Now, coming to the importance of Coral reefs, they appeared in the fossil record 400 million years ago. As the polyps grow through their life cycle, the calcium carbonate they secrete will sometimes merge with the secretions of other polyps around them, forming shapes. Coral also controls how much carbon dioxide is in the ocean. They take the carbon dioxide out of the water and use it to build their calcium carbonate. Without coral, the amount of Carbon dioxide in the water would affect the whole planet, but luckily, they trap that in stone for us all. Coral reefs alter how the ocean affects the shore. Because they build up over millions of years and can survive live in warm shallow water as well as colder deeper water, reefs can span massive areas and undulate like mountain ranges.
Corals build one of the most important ecosystems in the ocean they are animals, but they look like rocks because make a skeleton underneath themselves and they leave it behind as they grow up toward the Sun and then that creates homes for sponges and clams and snails and those smaller organisms are what feeds the bigger fish and the bigger fish so without the corals you slowly lose the ability to support the entire pyramid people often do not realize that they help protect the shorelines from waves from big storms of the hurricane we know that corals can live for a long time but what’s particularly interesting about that is that they’re living in the blazing hot Sun near the equator for hundreds and hundreds of years so now scientists are looking into how a coral manages to repair its DNA when it’s sitting in the Blazing Sun for decades and decades and hopefully we can understand how to prevent the mutations that eventually lead to cancer in humans corals live with algae in their tissues it would be as if you had lettuce growing under your skin and you are able to use the calories that that lettuce was making without eating any food when a coral bleaches the balance between that alga and that host coral sometimes goes off the coral spits out those symbiotic partners and it’s very difficult for them to survive because they’ve lost their main source of food unfortunately anywhere you have humans corals tend to suffer and that’s because all the activities that we do on land things like building things like discharging sewage things like agriculture those all affect the ocean.