Coral Reef Animals
There are millions of species that live in and around coral reefs, and 25% of all marine species live in coral reefs. Fish, corals, lobsters, clams, seahorses, sponges, sea turtles, as well as many more creatures rely on the reefs of their survival. These habitats are threatened by a range of human activities like water pollution, overfishing and destructive fishing practices, disease, climate change, and ship groundings. The great diversity and high biomass of the organisms that live in coral reefs is due to the large amount of hiding places for species to take refuge.
Animals live in coral reefs because this habitat provides warm water as well as an abundant food supply. The physical form of coral reefs has a lot of nooks and crannies that help fish hide from potential predators. Many small tropical fish typically live within coral reefs.
Yes, animals can harm coral reefs if the predator populations can become too high, and thus corals can become devastated. Coral reefs can also be harmed through overheating causing them to dry out and overheat or become physiologically stressed which can lead to bleaching or death.
A coral is an animal because they do not make its own food as a plant does. Corals have small tentacle-like arms that they use to capture their food from the water. Corals go through a unique process called symbiosis which benefits both animals and plant life.