CORALS SECTION

Samudrika Corals

1. Blue Coral

Blue coral is a species of colonial coral and the only species in the family Helioporidae and the only Octocoral known to produce a massive skeleton.This skeleton is formed of aragonite, similar to that of scleractinia. .

The blue coral is the only Octocoral with a massive skeleton,which is composed of aragonite.Individual polyps live in tubes within the skeleton and are connected by a thin layer of tissue over the outside of the skeleton. It was described by Pallas in 1766.It is a hermatypic zooxanthellaete species with either blue or grey-grey polyps located located within its skeleton, which each contain eight tentacles. Its colonies are either columnar, plates or branched.It is a tolerant species and is used in aquariums.

2. Brain Coral

Brain coral is a common name given to corals in the family Mussidae, so called due to their generally spheroid shape and grooved surface which resembles a brain.Each head of coral is formed by a colony of genetically identical polyps which secrete a hard skeleton of calcium carbonate.

Brain corals are found in shallow warm-water coral reefs in all the world's oceans. They are part of the phylum Cnidaria, in a class called Anthozoa or "flower animals". The lifespan of the largest brain corals is 900 years. Colonies can grow as large as 1.8 m (6 ft) or more in height. Brain corals extend their tentacles to catch food at night. During the day, they use their tentacles for protection by wrapping them over the grooves on their surface. The surface is hard and offers good protection against fish or hurricanes. Branching corals, such as staghorn corals, grow more rapidly, but are more vulnerable to storm damage.

3. Mushroom Coral

The Fungiidae are a family of Cnidaria.The family contains thirteen extant genera.They range from solitary corals to colonial species.

Species are generally solitary marine animals capable of benthic locomotion.These corals often appear to be bleached or dead.In most genera, a single polyp emerges from the center of the skeleton to feed at night. Most species remain fully detached from the substrate in adulthood. Some are immobile as well as colonial. 

4. Red Coral

Red coral is the common name given to Corallium rubrum and several related species of marine coral. The distinguishing characteristic of precious corals is their durable and intensely colored red or pink skeleton, which is used for making jewelry.

Red corals grow on rocky seabottom with low sedimentation, typically in dark environments—either in the depths or in dark caverns or crevices. The original species, C. rubrum , is found mainly in the Mediterranean Sea. It grows at depths from 10 to 300 meters below sea level, although the shallower of these habitats have been largely depleted by harvesting.In the underwater caves of Alghero, Sardinia it grows at depth from 4 to 35 meters. The same species is also found at Atlantic sites near the Strait of Gibraltar, at the Cape Verde Islands and off the coast of Southern Portugal.

5. Staghorn Coral

The staghorn coral is a branching, stony coral with cylindrical branches ranging from a few centimetres to over two metres in length and height.It occurs in back reef and fore reef environments from 0 to 30 m (0 to 98 ft) depth.

Staghorn coral is found throughout the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, the Caribbean islands and the Great Barrier Reef. This coral occurs in the western Gulf of Mexico, but is absent from U.S. waters in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as Bermuda and the west coast of South America. The northern limit is on the east coast of Florida, near Boca Raton. In the South-East Asia, it grows rapidly and abundantly in the reefs of the coasts of Sabah, Malaysia.

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