are soft corals?
you guess? Are they animal or vegetable?
- Yes they
are animals: each soft coral is a colony of many tiny animals
called polyps. Can you see the tiny polyps?
they can be sort of considered vegetables too! Many soft corals
contain tiny algae inside their bodies. The microscopic, single-celled
algae (called symbiotic zooxanthallae, pronounced 'zoo-zan-tell-ay')
undergo photosynthesis to produce food from sunlight. The
food produced is shared with the polyp, which in return provides
the algae with shelter and minerals.
corals are important to the ecosystem
- Soft corals
a structure for small animals to shelter and hide. These
small animals in turn are eaten by larger animals.
see if we can find small animals living in this soft coral! Some
animals you might find:
- Soft corals
NEED a good ecosystem in order to thrive. They need clear water
so that sunlight can allow their symbiotic algae to photosynthesise.
Sediments not only cloud the water, but also smother the tiny
Don't touch soft corals: They are easily bruised!
Don't remove soft corals from their attachment. They
Don't bend leathery corals They are not flexible and
are instead quite stiff and hard. You may break them, and some
Don't remove animals found in soft corals They are usually
small and delicate and may be hurt. Away from the soft coral,
they will die.