Cauliflower coral genome sequenced

The sequencing of the genome of the cauliflower coral, Pocilloporaverrucosa, by an international team,provides a resource that scientists can use to study how corals have adapted to different environmental conditions.

Palau's coral reefs: A jewel of the ocean

Scientists at the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation (KSLOF) have released their findings on the state of coral reefs in Palau. Their research, based on extensive underwater surveys, found Palau's reefs had the highest ...

Study discovers how some single-cell organisms control microbiomes

Large swaths of single-celled eukaryotes, non-bacterial single-cell organisms like microalgae, fungi or mold, can control microbiomes (a collection of tiny microbes, mostly bacteria) by secreting unusual small molecules around ...

page 1 from 100

Coral

Alcyonaria    Alcyonacea    Helioporacea Zoantharia    Antipatharia    Corallimorpharia    Scleractinia    Zoanthidea   See Anthozoa for details

Corals are marine organisms from the class Anthozoa and exist as small sea anemone-like polyps, typically in colonies of many identical individuals. The group includes the important reef builders that are found in tropical oceans, which secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton.

A coral "head", commonly perceived to be a single organism, is formed from myriads of individual but genetically identical polyps, each polyp only a few millimeters in diameter. Over thousands of generations, the polyps lay down a skeleton that is characteristic of their species. An individual head of coral grows by asexual reproduction of the individual polyps. Corals also breed sexually by spawning, with corals of the same species releasing gametes simultaneously over a period of one to several nights around a full moon.

Although corals can catch small fish and animals such as plankton using stinging cells on their tentacles, these animals obtain most of their nutrients from photosynthetic unicellular algae called zooxanthellae. Consequently, most corals depend on sunlight and grow in clear and shallow water, typically at depths shallower than 60 m (200 ft). These corals can be major contributors to the physical structure of the coral reefs that develop in tropical and subtropical waters, such as the enormous Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Other corals do not have associated algae and can live in much deeper water, with the cold-water genus Lophelia surviving as deep as 3000 m. Examples of these can be found living on the Darwin Mounds located north-west of Cape Wrath, Scotland. Corals have also been found off the coast of Washington State and the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.

Corals coordinate behaviour by communicating with each other.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA