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Most people think corals are stones, but they are actually little animals which start off as mobile polyps. Once these polyps settle on the sea-floor, they don’t move for the rest of their lives! The little polyps secrete a calcium-carbonate which forms an armor around them.
Corals are an extremely integral part of the ecosystem in the sea. They live in waters which are not very rich in nutrients. They form symbiotic relationships with fish, bacteria, and algae which help recycle wastes while providing every member of the ecosystem with enough nutrients to flourish.
Damage to corals through pollution, mining of corals for decoration, diseases, breaking due to building of canals, etc are upsetting the existing, delicate balance on the ocean floor. If these beautiful creatures of the ocean disappear, they will affect the lives of so many other animals that need them to survive.
Did you know? Corals can reproduce sexually or asexually, usually alternating between the two. What’s more amazing is that they can also alternate between the sexes!