A Salute to Coral

Hi Kids,

A coral Polyp. (Photo courtesy NOAA. Credit Chad King)

A coral Polyp. (Photo courtesy NOAA)

After following Dr. Frank and the Science Team’s Creep into the Deep research with NOAA-OE and seeing all the amazing photos including coral, I thought it’d be fun to test your knowledge about coral.

♥♥ True or False ♥♥

Coral is a plant. True or False?

False: Coral polyps are tiny, soft-bodied organisms related to jellyfish and anemones.

Corals only live in shallow water. True or False?

A deep-sea coral

False. Though many kinds of coral do live in shallower water, many others live deep in the sea.

Some corals can live thousands of years. True or False?

True. Deep-sea corals are the old souls of the sea!

Coral that lives in shallower water gets its coloration from algae. True or False?

A Hawaiian hogfish swims through the colorful coral reef

A Hawaiian hogfish swims through the colorful coral reef

True. Colorful algae called Zooxanthellae (pronounced: zõ-zan-thell-ee) live in coral polyps. The algae creates the beautiful colors in reef building coral and provides much of the energy the coral needs. Zooxanthellae gets its energy from the sun.

 Some corals build reefs (hard rock-like structures). Some corals do not. True or False?

True. The reefs most people think of are built by each polyp. Each polyp in reef-building corals creates a protective limestone cup-like external skeleton. The polyps live in a colony. Coral colonies grow over hundreds and thousands of years and join with other colonies and become reefs. like a giant living rocky city Some reefs began over 50 million years. Cool!

Now you know a lot more about coral.

See you next time,