Coral reefs have been around for millions of years. Less than 0.1% of the world’s ocean floor is covered by coral reefs. The reefs grow best in warm, shallow, clear, sunny and moving water.
Some of the animals found in coral reefs are: Sponges, Sea slugs, Oysters, Clams, Crabs, Shrimp, Sea worms, Starfish, Sea urchins, Jellyfish and Sea anemones; various types of fungi, Sea turtles, and many species of fish. Think of them as the “rainforests of the oceans.”
Coral reefs are made up of plants, fish, and many other creatures
Humans have a lot of impact on coral reefs, both good and bad. Some good things that humans contribute are: sending under water robots to help different fish and plants keep a steady "life"
Some bad things that humans are doing: fishing for different sea creatures which will mess up the food chain!
Why are the reefs important?
Coral reefs do a number of amazing things! Reefs
- Protect shorelines from big waves by absorbing wave energy
- Provide a safe place for fish to spawn (release eggs into the water)
- Provide habitats for a large variety of organisms
- Provide food (fish and shellfish) for many people living along coastlines
- Are a source of medication—some anti-cancer drugs and painkillers come from reefs
- Help in the carbon cycle
- Are a good sign of ocean water quality: Healthy reefs = Healthy water.