This is my first post as request by my friend David, and he wasn’t wrong to request it. Coral reefs are so full of life, life that can take decades to mature. The thing about coral reefs is, they are not plants but animals that take an extremely long time to grow. WE NEED THESE REEFS!
FUN FACTS ABOUT CORAL REEFS!
- Coral reefs grow very slowly, at an average rate of just two centimeters per year.
- Although many corals may look like plants, they’re actually animals; they are most closely related to jellyfish and anemones.
- Strangely, most coral reefs seem to grow on the eastern side of land masses, where the temperature is believed to be warmer than the western side.
- If you find a broken piece of coral on the beach, you can see its hard shell, which is actually an animal called a polyp. It is the cluster of these polyps growing together that gives coral reefs their shape.
- Coral reefs seem to grow best where there are stronger currents and wave patterns. Scientists believe that this is because stronger currents and waves deliver more food for the marine ecosystem.
- Coral reefs are among the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet. There are often more types of fish living in a two-acre area of healthy coral reef than there are species of birds in all of North America!
- Coral reefs help to improve the quality of the surrounding water. They do this by filtering out things floating in the ocean, which leads to cleaner water.
- The first widespread incident of coral bleaching happened in 1998, when an estimated 16% of corals died. But the worst incident on record occurred in 2015-2016, when an extended El Niño event warmed Pacific waters near the equator.
- Recent studies(link sends e-mail) suggest the planet has lost approximately half of its coral reefs in the last 30 years, and could lose more than 90% by the year 2050 if drastic changes are not made.
For more information about coral reefs and protecting them click the link below!