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Known as the “rainforests of the sea”, coral reefs are the greatest expression of ocean life and the largest living structure on the planet. Coral reefs are beautiful underwater formations made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Most of the coral reefs are found in the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia, and throughout Pacific Ocean. Coral reefs look different from one another and are found in a fantastic range of shapes and colors. There are three major types of coral reefs that exist, namely, fringing, barrier and atoll. Other variants include patch reef, apron reef, bank reef, ribbon reef, table reef, microatolls, cays, and seamounts and guyots. Read on further to know some interesting and fun facts about the unique and colorful coral reefs.
Interesting & Fun Facts About Coral Reefs:
• Though coral reefs cover leas than 1% of the Earth’s surface, over 25% of all marine fish species find their homes in coral reefs. These marine species include oysters, sea urchins, sea anemones, jellyfish, crabs, shrimp, sponges, lobsters, octopus, clams, sea turtles and mollusks.
• Coral reefs are found in shallow waters with a range of 60 m depth. While some species can be found in cooler temperate water, others prefer tropical climate, with waters ranging in the temperatures of 19-33 °C.
• A strange fact about coral reefs is that algae are the natural glue that holds them together to maintain their shape.
• About 10 million bacteria live on one square centimeter of coral.
• Coral reefs are found in large numbers called colonies. Individual polyps are linked by tissues to form colonies. An individual polyp can vary from 3-56 mm in diameter or height, while the colonies range from 75-1500 mm in width, height or length.
• The coral polyps are tiny, soft-bodied invertebrate animals with no backbones. Instead, they have a hard, protective limestone skeleton called a calicle found at the base.
• Parts of Florida would have been under water, if coral reefs would have not existed.
• There are over 500 million people who rely on coral reefs for their food and livelihoods.
• Porous limestone skeletons of the corals have been used in grafting human bones.
• Pacific coral reefs contain more species of fishes, plants and corals than Caribbean coral reefs do.
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