Corals are tiny creatures that live in skeleton-covered colonies, creating the illusion that a coral community is one single organism.
Scientists classify corals as animals, even though some of their characteristics could qualify them to be non-living. The most critical distinction between plants and animals is that plants make their own food, while animals depend on outside sources for theirs. Coral animals take advantage of both forms of nutrition by hosting plant-like algae in their tissues, which produce food for the coral using the sun’s energy, carbon dioxide and water.
Coral reefs provide habitat for almost all forms of life including fish, crustaceans, seaweed, reptiles, bacteria and fungi. A coral reef is covered with life and every form of life has a specific role. The organisms live in a delicate balance, and despite covering less that .2 percent of the total area of oceans, coral reefs are noted for some of the highest levels of productivity on earth and provide an environment for 25 percent of all species of marine creatures.
Coral reefs all over the world face a variety of threats and many coral species are increasingly endangered. It is often assumed that rare coral species face higher risks of extinction because they have very small effective population sizes, and the expected result of this would be decreased genetic diversity and ability to adapt.
Because of this, many aquarists interested in collecting rare coral are increasingly sensitive to the need to protect these fragile organisms. But recent studies have shown that rare coral may be smarter and more easily adapted than we think.
The latest findings reveal that rare coral must be able to cross-breed with certain other coral species, which means that they can actually breed themselves out of a one-way trip to extinction. This finding was released by scientists at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, and has greatly raised hopes for the ability of the world’s rare corals to withstand the potential threats of changing climates and human impacts, says lead author Zoe Richards.
The best local fish stores teach heightened awareness of caring for the fragile life that we find in the ocean. The growing concern for our earth’s environment and wildlife makes it a priority for us to find those experts who understand not only the joy of an aquatic hobby but also a responsibility to the fragile wildlife with which we are dealing.
Aquatic Dreams of Layton, Utah has a well-trained crew that can give advice on caring for rare coral, saltwater fish, and a host of other saltwater aquarium livestock. They are experts at shipping their rare coral, saltwater fish, and aquarium lighting and supplies all over the world,