Create a Coral Reef
Cool Coral Facts
  • The world's first coral reefs formed about 500 million years ago.
  • Coral reefs are made of millions of tiny, fragile animals called hard coral polyps, living and dead. A group of coral is called a colony.
  • Each different kind of coral, as a community, creates an amazing shaped structure. These architectural shapes are used by scientists to identify corals.
  • Coral polyps feed at night. They have tentacles with small stinging cells called nematocysts. Hard coral also get nutrients from the algae that live on them.
  • Coral reefs are found in shallow water because the algae that live with them need sunlight for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants harness the Sun's energy and use it to turn water and carbon dioxide into their food, sugar. As corals compete for sunlight, the reef gets bigger and bigger.
  • Soft corals like sea fans and sea whips may be part of coral reefs, but they're not reef builders.

Coral Reef