Are corals animals or plants?
The News Voice
While they might seem like plants, corals are really members of the Animal Kingdom.
With their hardened surfaces, corals are sometimes mistaken as being rocks. And because they are attached, taking root on the seafloor, they are often mistaken for plants.
But unlike rocks, coral are alive and unlike plants they don't make their own food., they collect it from the ocean. Corals are in fact animals.
Coral polyps are actually translucent animals. Reefs get their wild hues from the billions of colorful algae they host named zooxanthellae.
Hard corals extract ample amount of calcium from surrounding seawater and use this to create a hardened structure for protection and growth.
Coral reefs are therefore created by millions of tiny polyps forming large carbonate structures. they are the basis of a framework and home for hundreds of thousands if not millions species.
Coral reefs are the largest living structure on the planet also the only living structure to be visible from space.
Coral reefs covers less than one percent of the ocean floor, but supports about 25 percent of all marine creatures.
However, threats to their existence are there,and scientists believes that human factors such as pollution, global warming are threatening large swaths of the world's reefs.