Coral Reefs – IAS Synopsis

Excerpt/ Sample:

Coral reefs are large structures formed underwater by reef – building corals, they are colonies of coral polyps held by calcium carbonate.


Corals are invertebrate animals belonging to Cnidaria group. They are tiny, soft – bodied organisms, at their base is a hard, protective limestone skeleton. Coral polyps are generally translucent, the colors we see in coral reefs are due to Zooxanthellae, an algae that is associated with corals.


The reef – building corals are called hermatypic, or “hard” corals because they extract calcium carbonate from seawater to create a hard, durable exoskeleton that protects their soft bodies. These corals live on exoskeletons left by their ancestors, and when they die they leave their own exoskeleton behind, in this way the structure keeps building and grows to become massive coral reefs in water.



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