Coral Reef Animal Printouts: The coral provides shelter for many animals in this complex habitat, including sponges, nudibranchs, fish (like Blacktip Reef Sharks, groupers, clown fish, eels, parrotfish, snapper, and scorpion fish), jellyfish, anemones, sea stars (including the destructive Crown of Thorns), crustaceans (like crabs, shrimp, and lobsters), turtles, sea snakes, snails, and mollusks (like octopuses, nautilus, and clams). Starfish, sea urchins and crustaceans are the most commonly found invertebrates on coral reefs, and countless species of fish including seahorses and eels can also be spotted with ease. Benefits of Coral Reefs. All About Coral Coral is more than a pretty underwater decoration; it is a living thing much like an anemone or jellyfish. Hard corals (like brain coral and elkhorn coral) have hard, limestone skeletons which form the basis of coral reefs. Animals & the Reef From tiny nudibranchs to massive sharks, thousands of species depend on coral ecosystems for protection, food and shelter. Types of Corals: There are two types of coral, hard coral and soft coral. The coral provides shelter for many animals in this complex habitat, including sponges, nudibranchs, fish (like Blacktip Reef Sharks, groupers, clown fish, eels, parrotfish, snapper, and scorpion fish), jellyfish, anemones, sea stars (including the destructive Crown of Thorns), crustaceans (like crabs, shrimp, and lobsters), turtles, sea snakes, snails, and mollusks (like octopuses, nautilus, and clams). Coral Atolls are rings of coral that grow on top of old, sunken volcanoes in the ocean. Before considering the question of what animals live in the coral reef, it is essential to first talk about the types of corals that are able to sustain other marine creatures. Bottom-dweller fish, also called bottom feeders, are fish that live and feed on or near the bottom of the sea. Major threats to coral reefs are water pollution (from sewage and agricultural runoff), dredging off the coast, careless collecting of coral specimens, and sedimentation (when silt or sand from construction or mining projects muddies the waters of a reef and kills coral, which needs light to live). All rights reserved. The results: 50 percent more fish returned to the loud reefs … Thousands of species of fish, as well as sea snakes, sea turtles and manatees form the bulk of these creatures. Types of Reefs: The different types of reefs include: Coral Reefs in Danger: Many coral reefs are dying. Coral reefs are also living museums and reflect thousands of years of history. Their dead skeletons essentially become the foundation for future generations of stony corals. The Great Barrier Reef (off the coast of NE Australia) is the largest coral reef in the world. Most of these animals comprise a group known as the cetaceans , which includes the dolphins and whales . Birds also feast on coral reef animals. There are coral reefs off the eastern coast of Africa, off the southern coast of India, in the Red Sea, and off the coasts of northeast and northwest Australia and on to Polynesia. Coral polyps are tiny, soft-bodied organisms related to sea anemones and jellyfish. The researchers placed loudspeakers along dying sections of the Great Barrier reef and played the sounds of a healthy coral reef. This colorful neighborhood is home to many species of tropical fish, including the Cortez wrasse, scrawled filefish and Cortez angelfish. Coral reefs are warm, clear, shallow ocean habitats that are rich in life. We harm them way more than they harm us. The reef's massive structure is formed from coral polyps, tiny animals that live in colonies; when coral polyps die, they leave behind a hard, stony, branching structure made of limestone. A major draw of the water activities are the expansive coral reefs. Turtle grass looks like broad ribbons of … These are the most numerous and the most diverse types of animals on the reef. As with the other coral reefs of the world, this incredible ecological hotspot is under threat.A heat wave in 2016 caused a large percentage of the corals in the Great Barrier Reef to undergo severe bleaching and death. More Coral Reef information. It is called the Great Barrier Reef. Answer (1 of 4): Coral reefs in the ocean are more like sea anemones or sea jellies. Coral Reef Cover Page A cover page for a coral reef animal information/coloring booklet. The Northwest Hawaiian Island coral reefs, which are part of the Papahānaumokuākea National Marine Monument, provide an example of the diversity of life associated with shallow-water reef ecosystems. In the wild, coral reefs are among the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on Earth. These vibrant metropolises provide food and shelter for millions of species of fishes, sea turtles, crustaceans and invertebrates — making coral reefs one of Earth’s most diverse habitats. Marine Reptiles. Soft corals (like sea fingers and sea whips) do not build reefs. Mollusks, such as gastropods and cephalopods are mainly bottom-dwelling invertebrates, and crustaceans are among the most commonly known invertebrates, including lobsters, crabs and shrimp. It removes parasites and dead skin from reef fishes. The Great Barrier Reef (off the coast of NE Australia) is the largest coral reef in the world. In this slideshow you can explore some of the oddest and most amazing ones there are to see. Coral Reefs in Danger: Many coral reefs are dying. Avoid touching coral reefs as it damages them and the wildlife that lives there and if we don’t bother them, they won’t bother us. Within the Great Barrier Reef, a few species of whales are also found such as the humpback and Dwarf Minke whales. Some are: sponges, sea urchins, fish, worms, rays, sharks, octopus, lobsters, sea starts, snails etc. They love to live in the sea floor and … Although it is not always clear on which animals are actually part of coral reef environments, it’s important to make a note of what animals live in the coral reef and the ones that merely visit the reef ecosystem in search of food or other resources. Barrier reefs grow parallel to shorelines, but farther out, usually separated from the land by a deep lagoon. Coral reefs, some of the Earth’s most remarkable natural structures, have more than aesthetic significance. The only way to stay safe is to respect their rules and their habitat. Leopard Sharks. Vertebrate coral reef animals consist of some of the most well-known animals inhabiting the reef. Types of Corals: There are two types of coral, hard coral and soft coral. Find out more › Coral reef; Coral is made of the hard skeletons of millions of tiny sea animals that protects their soft bodies. Soft corals (like sea fingers and sea whips) do not build reefs. It is over 1,257 miles (2000 km) long. : Coral reefs develop in shallow, warm water, usually near land, and mostly in the tropics; coral prefer temperatures between 70 and 85 ° F (21 - 30 °C). Life on the Edge. They begin as fringe reefs surrounding a volcanic island; then, as the volcano sinks, the reef continues to grow, and eventually only the reef remains. Today, marine reptiles are not the most common residents of the coral reef, but they are definitely among the most beautiful. There are also coral reefs off the coast of Florida, USA, to the Caribbean, and down to Brazil. They are called barrier reefs because they form a barrier between the lagoon and the seas, impeding navigation. Angelshark A bottom-dwelling, relatively harmless shark with a flattened body and a blunt snout. Thousands of species of fish, as well as sea snakes, sea turtles … Clam. Some people compare coral reefs to giant apartment buildings in New York. These “dangerous” animals are more threatened by humans than the other way around. Eels, crabs, starfish, nudibranchs—a plethora of charismatic organisms interact in a coral reef, making it one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. : Coral reefs develop in shallow, warm water, usually near land, and mostly in the tropics; coral prefer temperatures between 70 and 85 ° F (21 - 30 °C). Scallops, oysters and clams are bivalves. A living coral reef is made up of colonies of tiny organisms that feed by straining plankton from the water. Some reef fish swim in groups called shoals as they nibble the corals, or take tiny bits of food from the water. Echinoderms are strange, spiny skinned animals, while filter feeding sponges typically eat up tiny food particles near the ocean floor. This area supports more than 7,000 species of fishes, invertebrates, plants, sea … The most diverse coral reef is found around Indonesia. Where are Coral Reefs? Fish, corals, lobsters, clams, seahorses, sponges, and sea turtles are only a few of the thousands of creatures that rely on reefs for their survival. Fish found in coral reefs also have bright coloring to help with mating or camouflage. Shoal grass is the most grass-like looking out of the other types of sea grass. Invertebrates commonly seen on the reefs include lobster, sea cucumbers, urchins, shrimp, and anemones. Hidden beneath the ocean waters, coral reefs teem with life. Vertebrate coral reef animals consist of some of the most well-known animals inhabiting the reef. Well, our reefs are home to over 260 species of tropical fish and around 80 species of coral, not to mention countless other invertebrates. Coral reefs grow slowly in warm tropical waters, building up their colorful shapes over hundreds and thousands of years. Coral reefs are home to millions of species. The Great Barrier Reef is home to about 360 species of hard coral, including bottlebrush … Where are Coral Reefs? Numerous different animal species inhabit coral reefs around the world and vary tremendously in size, shape and colour. The include such species as sponges, mollusks, echinoderms and crustaceans. Lastly sessile animals, such as coral… They also typically have a symbiotic relationship with certain strains of algae. It extends over 1,200 miles and it is a great attraction for many tourists that come to this area. In terms of fish, some of the most commonly encountered are parrotfish, wrasses, damselfish, snappers, grunts, and barracudas. These animals have since evolved to be perfectly adapted to their environment. They grow on the continental shelf in shallow water. The largest coral reef biome in the world is found in the Northeast of Australia. The other main group of marine mammals falls into the family of pinnipeds , which includes the seals and sea lions . A number of coral polyps live together, usually a large number in each apartment. Copyright © 2020 Blane Perun's TheSea. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, whose polyps cluster in groups. They are more active at night rather than in the daytime, and can sometimes be … Types of Reefs: The different types of reefs include: Fringing reefs are reefs that form along a coastline. Other animals that live on the coral reef include sea urchins, sponges, sea stars, worms, fish, sharks, rays, lobster, shrimp, octopus, snails and many more.