Coral: What is it?
Do you really know… what is coral?
In this What is Coral video, you’ll learn what coral really is and how it functions within the reef ecosystem.
Corals are animals. They are alive. Corals are made up of tiny animals called polyps. Hundreds, even thousands, of polyps can make up a coral. Over time, each polyp not only builds its own skeleton, but adds to the structure to the reef. What gives corals the energy for all this building? A partnership with symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae. They use energy from the sun to photosynthesize, providing up to 95% of the food the corals need. In turn, the corals release nutrients valuable to the algae give them a safe place to live.
To learn more, check out our online coral reef ecology curriculum: http://www.lof.org/education/portal/