Invertebrates

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» The basic difference between hard corals and soft corals:

Hard corals, also called stony corals, produce a rock-like skeleton made of calcium carbonate (same material as classroom chalk).  While soft corals do not build a hard skeleton, like hard corals, they do produce small amounts of calcium carbonate to help them keep their shape.


Soft corals can be distinguished from hard corals by the fact that soft coral polyps always have eight tentacles, while hard coral polyps have multiples of six tentacles


Did you know?

» The Fire coral we all love to avoid is actually a Hydroid, not a coral? 

» Fire corals are actually related closer to Jellyfish than there they do to hard and soft corals? 

» The Caribbean island of Barbados was once a coral reef? 

» The Great Barrier Reef is the only natural structure that you can see from space? 

» If you cut yourself on coral and you don't clean it, that coral could grow inside your skin? 

» Algae is the natural glue that holds corals together to maintain their shape? 

» Corals in colonies are known to live from 5 years to several hundred years?

» Some coral reefs are so small that you can't even see them? 

» The Pacific coral reefs contain more species of fishes, plants and corals than Caribbean coral reefs do? 

» The coral reef structure also buffers shorelines against waves, storms, and floods, helping to prevent loss of life, property damage, and erosion? 

» Coral reef plants and animals are important sources of new medicines being developed to treat cancer, arthritis, human bacterial infections, heart disease, viruses, and other diseases? 

» Coral reefs are found in 109 countries; significant reef degradation has occurred in 93? 

» We have already lost 27% of the world's coral reefs? If present rates of destruction are allowed to continue, 60% of the world's coral reefs will be destroyed over the next 30 years? 

» More than 80% of the world's shallow reefs are severely over-fished? 


» Notice to divers:

As divers, we have the closest relationship with this beautiful under water world. 

We are the first group that should be stepping up to really help the situation.

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