Who is the mightiest builder in the world?
What can you see in Doc Kraken's super-zoom magnifying glass?
Do corals like sweets?
What is the mysterious appointment that happens on the reef during the full moon?
Why do corals need our help?
Learn what makes a coral reef and dive into the wonderful and exciting underwater world of coral reefs!
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Questions & Answers (from Coral Heroes magazine)
What is your favorite coral species?
There are corals in all shapes and colors: soft and hard corals, sea whips and fans, there are even fire corals―which are not true corals, but hydrozoas like the strongly stinging lion's mane jellyfish. You will find a lot of info about corals and their different species on the internet or at your local library. Here are some examples of common coral species: bubble coral (Plerogyra sinuosa), starlet coral (Siderastrea siderea), cauliflower coral (Pocillopora damicornis) or blue coral (Heliopora coerulea). The latter may look like a real hard coral, but it is not. It’s a living fossil, all other members of its group have died out a long time ago! So, which is your favorite coral, you will have to decide for yourself!
Where is the coral triangle and what is so special about it?
The coral triangle occupies an almost triangular area in the tropics; that's why it’s named that way. Its spatial extent stretches from the Philippines, over Malaysia, to Indonesia with its western border reaching out to the Solomon Islands. In the coral triangle you will find the highest level of marine biodiversity worldwide with over 500 coral species!
Which animals are native to coral reefs?
There are lots of animals that call coral reefs their home or have their nursery there. One of the most famous may be 'Nemo', the clown fish that inhabits anemones. There are surgeonfish (like 'Dory'), banner fish, blue and green chromis (also called coral fish), moray eels, puffer fish, scorpion fish and gobies living together with snapping shrimp. There are giant clams, spiny oysters, coral scallops living bored into the skeleton of massive corals, curious octopuses and visiting sepias. There are helmet crabs, spiny lobsters, coral crabs, cleaning and harlequin shrimp. There are Christmas tree worms, fire worms, boring sponges, barrel sponges, cryptic sponges, and the look-alike sea squirts―and there are so many more! You can get a first glance at Do you know corals? (link)
What is a basket star?
A basket star is a feather star that expands its countless, delicate and branching arms into the current at night. When it sits on top of sea fans, its outstretched arms look like a lacy basket.
Which animals drill their tubes right into the coral skeleton?
There are various animals that bore into living or dead coral skeletons, such as boring sponges of the genus Cliona, coral scallops (Pedum spondyloideum), or the famous Christmas tree worms (Spirobranchus giganteus), which look like tiny Christmas trees protruding from massive corals. By living inside a coral skeleton, they remain safe from predators.
What is the cement of coral reefs?
The reef framework consists of cemented, dead coral skeletons and through its substructure snake crevices and cave passageways. The 'cement' that adheres the reef substructure are in fact crustose coralline algae, shortly named CCA. These algae excrete lime and in that way 'glue' together all parts.
Coral Heroes is a copyrighted publication of SECORE International, Inc. It is published for educational purposes to provide information on the value, importance and the threats to coral reefs around the world. It is a free publication and is widely distributed without cost. This publication is available without cost here on the SECORE website. The publication is intended for education only and may not be used for commercial purposes. Content of the publication may not be altered or used in parts, nor may be any parts extracted without the permission of SECORE International, Inc.
© SECORE International, Inc.
Coral Heroes is a joint project of awarded illustrator Bernhard Speh (spehzies.org) & SECORE