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Corals oldest creatures on Earth

Corals oldest creatures of Earth

Star-like orange Corals oldest creatures of Earth

Corals oldest creatures on Earth
“The rainforests of the ocean”, coral reefs are the most beautiful of all marine habitats. Large colonies of tiny animals, corals grow slowly and leave behind a layer of limy skeleton. It is so tough that almost feels like rock. According to Scientists, one coral head can grow from 30 to 76 inches in diameter in 23 years. Meanwhile, the large, solid coral heads often serve as a “cleaning station” for certain kinds of animals known as “cleaners.” A cleaner can be a type of shrimp or fish that will clean parasites and diseased tissue off fish or other animals.

“The rainforests of the ocean”, coral reefs are the most beautiful of all marine habitats

“The rainforests of the ocean”, the most beautiful of all marine habitats

A coral’s massive skeleton may seem indestructible, but corals only thrive in warm, clear, unpolluted tropical waters. Since the water cannot be murky or filled with plankton that might block out sunlight, most corals do not live near large river mouths. They also cannot tolerate sea water diluted with fresh water, or water that is too salty. In isolated lagoons, evaporation can take away water, leaving water that is saltier than sea water. This can kill corals.

Corals have been recorded living at water temperatures from 61 to 97 degrees Fahrenheit. However, they only thrive at 73 to 77 degrees.

Sea anemones look like flowers with petals, but they are actually carnivorous animals with their ring of tentacles.
Sea anemones are tiny, meat-eating animals that look a bit like flowers. They cling to rocks and catch tiny prey with their tentacles.

When coral polyps die, their cup-shaped skeletons become hard coral. Coral reefs are long ridges, mounds, towers and other shapes made from billions of coral polyps and their skeletons.

The Great Barrier Reef off eastern Australia is the longest reef in the world, stretching over 2,000 km.
Coral reefs take millions of years to form – the Great Barrier Reef is about 18 million years old, for example.

Many fish species live in warm seas around coral reefs. They are often very colourful, which makes them instantly recognizable to their own kind.

The banded coral shrimp cleans up pests in the same way as cleaner fish do, from fish such as moray eels. The sabre-toothed blenny looks so like a cleaner fish that it can nip in close to big fish but then it takes a bite out of them.

Cheilinus is a carnivorous fish of coral reefs which changes color to mimic harmless plant-eating fish, such as parrot-fish and goat-fish. It swims alongside them, camouflaged, until it is close to its prey.

Corals oldest creatures on Earth