Brussels (Brussels Morning Newspaper) – Coral refers to a group of marine invertebrate animals that live in colonies and tropical waters. They are known for their hard, calcium carbonate exoskeletons. They belong to the phylum Cnidaria, which also includes jellyfish and sea anemones.
Coral reefs are formed by numerous individual coral polyps, which are tiny, tentacled creatures that live within the exoskeleton. Each polyp secretes calcium carbonate to form the exoskeleton, which provides support and protection to the coral colony.
10 Different Types Of Coral
Coral is a marine invertebrate that belongs to the phylum Cnidaria. There are many different types of corals, each with its unique characteristics and features. Here are some of the most common types of corals:
1. Stony or Hard Corals
These corals form the backbone of coral reefs and are the most common type of coral. They are called “hard” corals because they have a hard, calcium carbonate skeleton that provides support for the coral colony. Examples of stony corals include brain coral, elkhorn coral, and staghorn coral.
2. Soft Corals
These corals do not have a hard skeleton and are instead supported by tiny, spiny structures called sclerites. Soft corals come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be found in a range of colors. Examples of soft corals include sea fans, sea whips, and sea pens.
3. Brain Coral
Brain coral is a type of coral that belongs to the family of Faviidae. It is called brain coral because its appearance resembles the convoluted folds and ridges of a human brain. Brain corals live tropical and subtropical oceans around the world, typically in shallow waters. This type of coral gets its name from its appearance, which resembles a human brain.
4. Elkhorn Coral
Elkhorn coral, also known as Acropora palmata, is a species of coral that is found primarily in the shallow waters of the Caribbean Sea and the western Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the most important reef-building corals in the Caribbean and is considered a critical species for the overall health of coral reef ecosystems. This stony coral gets its name from its resemblance to the antlers of an elk.
5. Staghorn Coral
Staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) is a branching coral species that belongs to the family Acroporidae. It is found in shallow waters of the western Atlantic Ocean, particularly in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Another stony coral, the staghorn coral is named for its branching growth pattern, which resembles the antlers of a deer. It is an important reef-building coral and provides a habitat for a variety of marine species.
6. Fire Coral
This coral is not a true coral but is a type of hydrozoan. It gets its name from the painful stings it can inflict on humans who come into contact with it. Fire coral is found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world.
7. Black Coral
Black coral is a type of deep-sea coral that belongs to the family Antipathidae. Unlike other corals, which require sunlight to grow. Black coral lives in complete darkness at depths ranging from 50 to over 3,000 meters below the ocean surface. The carnation coral is a type of soft coral that is prized for its use in jewelry and decorative items. It gets its name from its black or dark brown color.
8. Mushroom Coral
This stony coral gets its name from its shape, which resembles a mushroom. It is a slow-growing coral that can be found in a variety of colors, including green, brown, and yellow. Mushroom coral is a common name for corals in the order Corallimorpharia, which are often called “false corals” because they resemble true corals but are a separate group of animals.
9. Organ Pipe Coral
This stony coral gets its name from its tube-like structure, which resembles the pipes of an organ. It is found in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Organ Pipe Coral (Tubipora musica) is a species of colonial soft coral that is named after it resembles a musical instrument, the organ pipe. It is found in tropical waters, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.
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10. Table Coral
This stony coral gets its name from its flat, table-like appearance. It is an important reef-building coral and can be found in a variety of colors, including brown, green, and purple. Table coral, also known as Acropora cervicornis. They are species of stony coral found in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. It is an important reef-building coral that forms large, table-like structures on coral reefs.