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Encyclopedia > Coral
Corals
Pillar coral, Dendrogyra cylindricus
Pillar coral, Dendrogyra cylindricus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Ehrenberg, 1831
Extant Subclasses and Orders

Alcyonaria
   Alcyonacea
   Helioporacea
Zoantharia
   Antipatharia
   Corallimorpharia
   Scleractinia
   Zoanthidea
[1][2]  See Anthozoa for details Download high resolution version (1192x1796, 1541 KB)This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons, a repository of free content hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. ... Binomial name Dendrogyra cylindricus Ehrenberg, 1834 Pillar corals (Dendrogyra cylindricus) are a type of hard coral which live in the western Atlantic Ocean. ... For other uses, see Scientific classification (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Subphylum/Classes[1] Anthozoa — corals and sea anemones Medusozoa:[2] Cubozoa — sea wasps or box jellyfish Hydrozoa — hydroids, hydra-like animals Polypodiozoa Scyphozoa — jellyfish Staurozoa — stalked jellyfish unranked: Myxozoa - parasites Cnidaria[3] (IPA: [4]) is a phylum containing some 11,000 species of apparently simple animals found exclusively in aquatic... Anthozoa is a class within the phylum Cnidaria that contains the sea anemones and corals. ... Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg. ... Alcyonaria (also known as Octocorallia, as they have 8-fold symmetry) is a subclass of the class Anthozoa within the phylum Cnidaria. ... Suborders Alcyoniina Calcaxonia Holaxonia Protoalcyonaria Scleraxonia Stolonifera The Alcyonacea, or the soft corals are an order of corals which do not produce calcium carbonate cups. ... Families Epizoanthidae Parazoanthidae Zoanthidae Zoanthids (order Zoanthidea) are a type of soft coral commonly found in coral reefs all around the world. ... Genera Antipathes Aphanipathes Bathypathes Cirripathes Leiopathes Parantipathes Stichopathes Taxipathes Black coral is a term given to a group of deep water, tree-like tropical coral related to sea anemone. ... Families Suborder Astrocoeiina   Acroporidae   Astrocoeniidae   Pocilloporiidae Suborder Caryophylliina   Caryophylliidae Suborder Dendrophylliina   Dendrophylliidae Suborder Faviina   Astrangiidae   Faviidae   Meandrinidae   Mirulinidae   Mussidae   Oculinidae   Pectiniidae   Trachyphyllidae Suborder Fungiina   Agariciidae   Fungiidae   Poritidae   Siderastreidae   Thamnasteriidae Scleractinia, also called Stony star corals, are exclusively marine animals; they are very similar to sea anemones but generate a hard... Families Epizoanthidae Parazoanthidae Zoanthidae Zoanthids (order Zoanthidea) are a type of soft coral commonly found in coral reefs all around the world. ... Anthozoa is a class within the phylum Cnidaria that contains the sea anemones and corals. ...

Corals are marine animals from the class Anthozoa and exist as small sea anemone-like polyps, typically in colonies of many identical individuals. The group includes the important reef builders that are found in tropical oceans, which secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton. The word coral has several meanings in English. ... A class is the rank in the scientific classification of organisms in biology below Phylum and above Order. ... Anthozoa is a class within the phylum Cnidaria that contains the sea anemones and corals. ... Families Many, see text. ... Anatomy of a coral polyp. ... Some of the biodiversity of a coral reef, in this case the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. ... Animated map exhibiting the worlds oceanic waters. ... Calcium carbonate is a chemical compound, with the chemical formula CaCO3. ...


A coral "head", commonly perceived to be a single organism, is actually formed of thousands of individual but genetically identical polyps, each polyp only a few millimeters in diameter. Over thousands of generations, the polyps lay down a skeleton that is characteristic of their species. A head of coral grows by asexual reproduction of the individual polyps. Corals also breed sexually by spawning, with corals of the same species releasing gametes simultaneously over a period of one to several nights around a full moon. Anatomy of a coral polyp. ... For other uses, see Species (disambiguation). ... A gamete (from Ancient Greek γαμετης; translated gamete = wife, gametes = husband) is a cell that fuses with another gamete during fertilization (conception) in organisms that reproduce sexually. ...


Although corals can catch plankton using stinging cells on their tentacles, these animals obtain most of their nutrients from symbiotic unicellular algae called zooxanthellae. Consequently, most corals depend on sunlight and grow in clear and shallow water, typically at depths shallower than 60 m (200 ft). These corals can be major contributors to the physical structure of the coral reefs that develop in tropical and subtropical waters, such as the enormous Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Other corals do not have associated algae and can live in much deeper water, such as in the Atlantic, with the cold-water genus Lophelia surviving as deep as 3000 m.[3] Corals have also been found off the coast of Washington State and the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. For the SpongeBob SquarePants character, see Sheldon J. Plankton. ... Cnidocytes are prey-capture and defensive cells found on animals of the phylum Cnidaria. ... For other uses, see Symbiosis (disambiguation). ... Zooxanthellae are golden-brown intracellular endosymbionts of various marine animals and protozoa, especially anthozoans. ... This article is about the unit of length. ... A foot (plural: feet or foot;[1] symbol or abbreviation: ft or, sometimes, ′ – a prime) is a unit of length, in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ... Some of the biodiversity of a coral reef, in this case the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. ... The Great Barrier Reef is the worlds largest coral reef system,[1][2] composed of roughly 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for 2,600 kilometres (1,616 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (132,974 sq mi). ... Slogan or Nickname: Sunshine State, Smart State Motto(s): Audax at Fidelis (Bold but Faithful) Other Australian states and territories Capital Brisbane Government Constitutional monarchy Governor Quentin Bryce Premier Anna Bligh (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 28  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004-05)  - Product ($m)  $158,506 (3rd... The Atlantic Ocean is Earths second-largest ocean, covering approximately one_fifth of its surface. ... For the capital city of the United States, see Washington, D.C.. For other uses, see Washington (disambiguation). ... Aleutians seen from space The Aleutian Islands (possibly from Chukchi aliat, island) are a chain of more than 300 small volcanic islands forming an island arc in the Northern Pacific Ocean, occupying an area of 6,821 sq mi (17,666 km²) and extending about 1,200 mi (1,900... Official language(s) None[1] Spoken language(s) English 85. ...

The corals and their enemy Crown-of-thorns Starfish at Madagascar
The corals and their enemy Crown-of-thorns Starfish at Madagascar

== Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1632 × 1224 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1632 × 1224 pixel, file size: 1. ... Binomial name (Linnaeus, 1758) The crown-of-thorns seastar (Acanthaster planci) is a seastar with thorn-like spines sprouting all over its body for protection. ...

Contents

Phylogeny

Coral, genus Fungia, in Papua New Guinea
Coral, genus Fungia, in Papua New Guinea
Main article: Anthozoa

Corals belong to the class Anthozoa and are divided into two subclasses, depending on the number of tentacles or lines of symmetry, and a series of orders corresponding to their exoskeleton, nematocyst type and mitochondrial genetic analysis.[1][2][4] Those with eight tentacles are called octocorallia or Alcyonaria and comprise soft corals, sea fans and sea pens. Those with more than eight in a multiple of six are called hexacorallia or Zoantharia. This group includes reef-building corals (Scleractinians), sea anemones and zoanthids. =={| class="wikitable" Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 666 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (880 × 792 pixel, file size: 690 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 666 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (880 × 792 pixel, file size: 690 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Anthozoa is a class within the phylum Cnidaria that contains the sea anemones and corals. ... Anthozoa is a class within the phylum Cnidaria that contains the sea anemones and corals. ... In cell biology, a mitochondrion is an organelle found in the cells of most eukaryotes. ... Genetic testing allows the genetic diagnosis of vulnerabilities to inherited diseases, and can also be used to determine a persons ancestry. ... Alcyonaria (also known as Octocorallia, as they have 8-fold symmetry) is a subclass of the class Anthozoa within the phylum Cnidaria. ... Suborders Alcyoniina Calcaxonia Holaxonia Protoalcyonaria Scleraxonia Stolonifera The Alcyonacea, or the soft corals are an order of corals which do not produce calcium carbonate cups. ... A sea fan is a form of sessile colonial cnidarian, similar to a sea pen or a soft coral, found in tropical and subtropical seawater. ... Families Suborder Sessiliflorae Anthoptilidae Chunellidae Echinoptilidae Funiculinidae Kophobelemnidae Protoptilidae Renillidae Scleroptilidae Stachyptilidae Umbellulidae Veretillidae Suborder Subselliflorae Pennatulidae Pteroeididae Virgulariidae Sea Pens are colonial marine cnidarians belonging to the order Pennatulacea. ... Families Epizoanthidae Parazoanthidae Zoanthidae Zoanthids (order Zoanthidea) are a type of soft coral commonly found in coral reefs all around the world. ... Families Suborder Astrocoeiina   Acroporidae   Astrocoeniidae   Pocilloporiidae Suborder Caryophylliina   Caryophylliidae Suborder Dendrophylliina   Dendrophylliidae Suborder Faviina   Astrangiidae   Faviidae   Meandrinidae   Mirulinidae   Mussidae   Oculinidae   Pectiniidae   Trachyphyllidae Suborder Fungiina   Agariciidae   Fungiidae   Poritidae   Siderastreidae   Thamnasteriidae Scleractinia, also called Stony star corals, are exclusively marine animals; they are very similar to sea anemones but generate a hard... Families Many, see text. ... Families Epizoanthidae Parazoanthidae Zoanthidae Zoanthids (order Zoanthidea) are a type of soft coral commonly found in coral reefs all around the world. ...


Anatomy

Anatomy of a coral polyp
Anatomy of a coral polyp

While a coral head appears to be a single organism, it is actually a head of many individual, yet genetically identical, polyps. The polyps are multicellular organisms that feed on a variety of small organisms, from microscopic plankton to small fish. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (462x670, 123 KB) Summary http://www. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (462x670, 123 KB) Summary http://www. ... For other uses, see clone. ... Anatomy of a coral polyp. ... For the SpongeBob SquarePants character, see Sheldon J. Plankton. ...


Polyps are usually a few millimeters in diameter, and are formed by a layer of outer epithelium and inner jellylike tissue known as the mesoglea. They are radially symmetrical with tentacles surrounding a central mouth, the only opening to the stomach or coelenteron, through which both food is ingested and waste expelled. This article is about the epithelium as it relates to animal anatomy. ... Mesoglea is the clear, inert, jellylike substance that makes up most of the bodies of jellyfish, rubber band, comb jellies and certain other primitive sea creatures. ...


The stomach closes at the base of the polyp, where the epithelium produces an exoskeleton called the basal plate or calicle (L. small cup). This is formed by a thickened calciferous ring (annular thickening) with six supporting radial ridges (as shown below). These structures grow vertically and project into the base of the polyp allowing it to retreat into the exoskeleton for protection. An exoskeleton is an external anatomical feature that supports and protects an animals body, in contrast to the internal endoskeleton of, for example, a human. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... Extant Subclasses and Orders Alcyonaria    Alcyonacea    Helioporacea Zoantharia    Antipatharia    Corallimorpharia    Scleractinia    Zoanthidea [1][2]  See Anthozoa for details For other uses, see Coral (disambiguation). ...


The polyp grows by extension of vertical calices which are occasionally septated to form a new, higher, basal plate. Over many generations this extension forms the large calciferous (Calcium containing) structures of corals and ultimately coral reefs. For other uses, see Calcium (disambiguation). ...


Formation of the calciferous exoskeleton involves deposition of the mineral aragonite by the polyps from calcium ions they acquire from seawater. The rate of deposition, while varying greatly between species and environmental conditions, can be as much as 10 g / m² of polyp / day (0.3 ounce / sq yd / day). This is light dependent, with night-time production 90% lower than that during the middle of the day.[5] Aragonite Aragonite is a polymorph of the mineral calcite, both having the chemical composition CaCO3. ... For other uses, see Calcium (disambiguation). ...

Nematocyst discharge: A dormant nematocyst discharges response to nearby prey touching the cnidocil, the operculum flap opens and its stinging apparatus fires the barb into the prey leaving a hollow filament through which poisons are injected to immobilise the prey, then the tentacles manoeuvre the prey to the mouth.
Nematocyst discharge: A dormant nematocyst discharges response to nearby prey touching the cnidocil, the operculum flap opens and its stinging apparatus fires the barb into the prey leaving a hollow filament through which poisons are injected to immobilise the prey, then the tentacles manoeuvre the prey to the mouth.

The polyp's tentacles trap prey using stinging cells called nematocysts. These are cells modified to capture and immobilize prey, such as plankton, by injecting poisons, firing very rapidly in response to contact. These poisons are usually weak but in fire corals they are potent enough to harm humans. Nematocysts can also be found in jellyfish and sea anemones. The toxins injected by nematocysts immobilize or kill prey, which can then be drawn into the polyp's stomach by the tentacles through a contractile band of epithelium called the pharynx. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 480 × 371 pixelsFull resolution (480 × 371 pixel, file size: 190 KB, MIME type: image/png)Modified from: http://www. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 480 × 371 pixelsFull resolution (480 × 371 pixel, file size: 190 KB, MIME type: image/png)Modified from: http://www. ... Cnidocytes are prey-capture and defensive cells found on animals of the phylum Cnidaria. ... Cnidocytes are prey-capture and defensive cells unique to animals of the phylum Cnidaria. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Bold text For other uses, see Jellyfish (disambiguation). ... Families Many, see text. ... The pharynx (plural: pharynges) is the part of the neck and throat situated immediately posterior to the mouth and nasal cavity, and cranial, or superior, to the esophagus, larynx, and trachea. ...


The polyps are interconnected by a complex and well developed system of gastrovascular canals allowing significant sharing of nutrients and symbiotes. In soft corals these range in size from 50-500 μm in diameter and to allow transport of both metabolites and cellular components.[6] Gastrovascular cavities, as the name suggests, function in both digestion and the transport of nutrients to all parts of the body. ...

Close-up of Montastrea cavernosa polyps. Tentacles are clearly visible.
Close-up of Montastrea cavernosa polyps. Tentacles are clearly visible.

Aside from feeding on plankton, many corals as well as other cnidarian groups such as sea anemones (e.g. Aiptasia), form a symbiotic relationship with a class of algae, zooxanthellae, of the genus Symbiodinium. The sea anemone Aiptasia, while considered a pest among coral reef aquarium hobbyists, has served as a valuable model organism in the scientific study of cnidarian-algal symbiosis. Typically a polyp will harbor one particular species of algae. Via photosynthesis, these provide energy for the coral, and aid in calcification.[7] The algae benefit from a safe environment, and use the carbon dioxide and nitrogenous waste produced by the polyp. Due to the strain the algae can put on the polyp, stress on the coral often triggers ejection of the algae, known on a large scale as coral bleaching, as it is the algae that contribute to the brown coloration of corals; other colors, however, are due to host coral pigments, such as GFPs (green fluorescent proteins). Ejecting the algae increases the polyps' chances of surviving stressful periods - they can regain the algae at a later time. If the stressful conditions persist, the polyps, and corals, will eventually die.[8] Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1780x1156, 1259 KB) A closeup of a cavernous star coral Montastrea cavernosa. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1780x1156, 1259 KB) A closeup of a cavernous star coral Montastrea cavernosa. ... Classes Anthozoa - Corals and sea anemones Cubozoa - Sea wasps or box jellyfish Hydrozoa - Hydroids, hydra-like animals Scyphozoa - Jellyfish Cnidaria is a phylum containing some 10,000 species of relatively simple animals found exclusively in aquatic environments (most species are marine). ... Families Many, see text. ... Aiptasia Aiptasia is a genus of a symbiotic cnidarian belonging to the class Anthozoa (sea anemones, corals). ... Common Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) in their Magnificent Sea Anemone (Heteractis magnifica) home. ... Algae have conventionally been regarded as simple plants within the study of botany. ... Zooxanthellae are golden-brown endosymbionts of various marine animals and protozoa. ... Zooxanthellae (IPA: ) are golden-brown intracellular endosymbionts of various marine animals and protozoa, especially anthozoans. ... Aiptasia Aiptasia is a genus of a symbiotic cnidarian belonging to the class Anthozoa (sea anemones, corals). ... For other uses, see Symbiosis (disambiguation). ... Warm pink and yellow host coral organism due to stress. ...


Reproduction

Life cycles of broadcasters and brooders
Life cycles of broadcasters and brooders

Image File history File links Coral_Life_Cycles_ZP.svg‎ Coral life cycles. ... Image File history File links Coral_Life_Cycles_ZP.svg‎ Coral life cycles. ...

Sexual

Corals predominantly reproduce sexually, with 25% of hermatypic corals (stony corals) forming single sex (gonochoristic) colonies, whilst the rest are hermaphroditic.[9] About 75% of all hermatypic corals "broadcast spawn" by releasing gametes - eggs and sperm - into the water to spread colonies over large distances. The gametes fuse during fertilisation to form a microscopic larvum called a planula, typically pink and elliptical in shape; a moderately sized coral colony can form several thousands of these larva per year to overcome the huge odds against formation of a new colony.[10] Sexual reproduction is a union that results in increasing genetic diversity of the offspring. ... Hermatypic corals, are corals that contain and depend upon zooxanthellae (algae) for nutrients. ... In biology, gonochorism (greek seed + disperse) describes a sexually reproducing species in which individuals are distinctly male or female. ... In zoology, a hermaphrodite is a species that contains both male and female sexual organs at some point during their lives. ... A planula is the free-swimming, flattened, ciliated, bilaterally symmetrical larva of a hydrozoan cnidarian. ...


The planula swims towards light, exhibiting positive phototaxis, to surface waters where they drift and grow for a time before swimming back down to locate a surface on which it can attach and establish a new colony. At many stages of this process there are high failure rates, and even though millions of gametes are released by each colony very few new colonies are formed. The time from spawning to settling is usually 2 or 3 days, but can be up to 2 months.[11] The larva grows into a coral polyp and eventually becomes a coral head by asexual budding and growth, creating new polyps. Phototaxis is an organisms automatic movement toward or away from light. ...


Corals that do not broadcast spawn are called brooders, with most non-stony corals displaying this characteristic. These corals release sperm but harbour the eggs, allowing larger, negatively buoyant, planulae to form which are later released ready to settle.[7] The larva grows into a coral polyp and eventually becomes a coral head by asexual budding and growth to create new polyps.

Calices (basal plates) of Orbicella annularis showing two methods of multiplication: gemmation (small central calicle) and division (large double calicle).
Calices (basal plates) of Orbicella annularis showing two methods of multiplication: gemmation (small central calicle) and division (large double calicle).

Synchronous spawning is very typical on a coral reef and often, even when there are multiple species present, all the corals on the reef release gametes during the same night. This synchrony is essential so that male and female gametes can meet and form planula. The cues that guide the release are complex, but over the short term involve lunar changes, sunset time, and possibly chemical signalling.[9] Synchronous spawning may have the result of forming coral hybrids, perhaps involved in coral speciation.[12] In some places the coral spawn can be dramatic, usually occurring at night, where the usually clear water becomes cloudy with gametes. Image File history File links Orbicella_annularis_-_calices. ... Image File history File links Orbicella_annularis_-_calices. ... Reproductive synchrony, or synchronous spawning is a term used in evolutionary biology and behavioural ecology to describe the way in which many species time reproduction to a proximate cue. ... For other uses, see Species (disambiguation). ... Gametes (in Greek: γαμέτες) —also known as sex cells, germ cells, or spores—are the specialized cells that come together during fertilization (conception) in organisms that reproduce sexually. ... Charles Darwins first sketch of an evolutionary tree from his First Notebook on Transmutation of Species (1837) Speciation is the evolutionary process by which new biological species arise. ...


Asexual

Within a head of coral the genetically identical polyps reproduce asexually to allow growth of the colony. This is achieved either through gemmation or budding or through division, both shown in the diagrams of Orbicella annularis. Budding involves a new polyp growing from an adult, whereas division forms two polyps each as large as the original.[10] Asexuality is a designation or self-designation for people who lack feelings of sexual attraction and/or sexual desire. ...


Whole colonies can reproduce asexually through fragmentation, where a piece broken off a coral head and moved by wave action can continue to grow in a new location.


Reefs

Locations of coral reefs
Locations of coral reefs
Main article: Coral reef

The hermatypic, stony corals are often found in coral reefs, large calcium carbonate structures generally found in shallow, tropical water. Reefs are built up from coral skeletons and held together by layers of calcium carbonate produced by coralline algae. Reefs are extremely diverse marine ecosystems being host to over 4,000 species of fish, massive numbers of cnidarians, molluscs, crustaceans, and many other animals.[13] Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Some of the biodiversity of a coral reef, in this case the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. ... Some of the biodiversity of a coral reef, in this case the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. ... Calcium carbonate is a chemical compound, with the chemical formula CaCO3. ... The tropics are the geographic region of the Earth centered on the equator and limited in latitude by the two tropics: the Tropic of Cancer in the north and the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere. ... Genera 39 genera Coralline algae are red algae in the Family Corallinaceae characteriuzed by a thallus covered with calcareous deposits. ... In ecology, an ecosystem is a community of organisms (plant, animal and other living organisms - also referred as biocenose) together with their environment (or biotope), functioning as a unit. ... Classes Caudofoveata Aplacophora Polyplacophora - Chitons Monoplacophora Bivalvia - Bivalves Scaphopoda - Tusk shells Gastropoda - Snails and Slugs Cephalopoda - Squids, Octopuses, etc. ... For the Dutch band, see Crustacean (band). ...


Geological history

The fossil coral Heliophyllum halli from the Devonian of Canada
The fossil coral Heliophyllum halli from the Devonian of Canada
Fossil coral and a fossil shell in California
Fossil coral and a fossil shell in California

Although corals first appeared in the Cambrian period,[14] some 542 million years ago, fossils are extremely rare until the Ordovician period, 100 million years later, when Rugose and Tabulate corals became widespread. Photograph of the fossil coral Heliophyllum taken by Dlloyd. ... Photograph of the fossil coral Heliophyllum taken by Dlloyd. ... For the Celtic language, see Southwestern Brythonic language; for the residents of the English county, see Devon. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (3888 × 2592 pixel, file size: 6. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (3888 × 2592 pixel, file size: 6. ... For other uses, see Fossil (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Fossil (disambiguation). ... Various seashells Danielle A shell is the hard, rigid outer covering, or integument, allanimals. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... For other uses, see Cambrian (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Fossil (disambiguation). ... Artist impression of the Ordovician Sea. ... Suborders Columnariina† Cystiphyllina† Streptelasmatina† The Rugosa, also called the Tetracoralla, are an extinct order of coral that were abundant in Middle Ordovician to Late Permian seas. ... Tabulate Corals lived entirely during the Paleozoic. ...


Tabulate corals occur in the limestones and calcareous shales of the Ordovician and Silurian periods, and often form low cushions or branching masses alongside Rugose corals. Their numbers began to decline during the middle of the Silurian period and they finally became extinct at the end of the Permian period, 250 million years ago. The skeletons of Tabulate corals are composed of a form of calcium carbonate known as calcite. For other uses, see Limestone (disambiguation). ... Shale Shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock whose original constituents were clays or muds. ... The Silurian is a major division of the geologic timescale that extends from the end of the Ordovician period, about 443. ... The Permian is a geologic period that extends from about 299. ... Doubly refracting Calcite from Iceberg claim, Dixon, New Mexico. ...


Rugose corals became dominant by the middle of the Silurian period, and became extinct early in the Triassic period. The Rugose corals existed in solitary and colonial forms, and like the Tabulate corals their skeletons are also composed of calcite. The Triassic is a geologic period that extends from about 251 ± 0. ...


The Scleractinian corals filled the niche vacated by the extinct Rugose and Tabulate corals. Their fossils may be found in small numbers in rocks from the Triassic period, and become relatively common in rocks from the Jurassic and later periods. The skeletons of Scleractinian corals are composed of a form of calcium carbonate known as aragonite. Although they are geologically younger than the Tabulate and Rugose corals, their aragonitic skeleton is less readily preserved, and their fossil record is less complete. Families Suborder Astrocoeiina   Acroporidae   Astrocoeniidae   Pocilloporiidae Suborder Caryophylliina   Caryophylliidae Suborder Dendrophylliina   Dendrophylliidae Suborder Faviina   Astrangiidae   Faviidae   Meandrinidae   Mirulinidae   Mussidae   Oculinidae   Pectiniidae   Trachyphyllidae Suborder Fungiina   Agariciidae   Fungiidae   Poritidae   Siderastreidae   Thamnasteriidae Scleractinia, also called Stony star corals, are exclusively marine animals; they are very similar to sea anemones but generate a hard... The Jurassic Period is a major unit of the geologic timescale that extends from about 199. ... Aragonite Aragonite is a polymorph of the mineral calcite, both having the chemical composition CaCO3. ...

At certain times in the geological past corals were very abundant, just as modern corals are in the warm clear tropical waters of certain parts of the world today. Like modern corals their ancestors built reefs, some of which now lie as great structures in sedimentary rocks. Two types of sedimentary rock: limey shale overlaid by limestone. ...

Fossil tabulate coral, Favosites sp.
Fossil tabulate coral, Favosites sp.

These ancient reefs are not composed entirely of corals. Algae, sponges, and the remains of many echinoids, brachiopods, bivalves, gastropods, and trilobites that lived on the reefs are preserved within them. This makes some corals useful index fossils, enabling geologists to date the age the rocks in which they are found. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 278 × 235 pixelsFull resolution (278 × 235 pixel, file size: 22 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) |other_versions= File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Coral Tabulate coral ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 278 × 235 pixelsFull resolution (278 × 235 pixel, file size: 22 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) |other_versions= File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Coral Tabulate coral ... Tabulate Corals lived entirely during the Paleozoic. ... Classes Subphylum Homalozoa Gill & Caster, 1960 Class Homostelea Class Homoiostelea Class Stylophora Gill & Caster, 1960 Class Ctenocystoidea Robison & Sprinkle, 1969 Subphylum Crinozoa Class Eocrinoidea Jaekel, 1899 Class Paracrinoidea Regnéll, 1945 Class Cystoidea von Buch, 1846 Class Blastoidea Class Crinoidea Subphylum Asterozoa Class Ophiuroidea Class Asteroidea Subphylum Echinozoa Helicoplacoidea †  ?Arkarua... Diversity About 4000 genera Subphyla and classes See Classification Brachiopods (from Latin bracchium, arm + New Latin -poda, foot) are a nearly extinct, small phylum of benthic invertebrates. ... Orders Subclass Protobranchia Solemyoida Nuculoida Subclass Pteriomorphia - oysters Arcoida Mytiloida Pterioida Subclass Paleoheterodonta - mussels Trigoinoida Unionoida Subclass Heterodonta - clams, zebra mussels Veneroida Myoida Subclass Anomalosdesmata Pholadomyoida Animals of the Class Bivalvia are known as bivalves because they typically have two-part shells, with both parts being more or less symmetrical. ... Subclass Subclass Eogastropoda     Patellogastropoda Subclass Orthogastropoda   Superorder Cocculiniformia   Superorder Hot Vent Taxa     Neomphaolida   Superorder Vetigastropoda   Superorder Neritaemorphi     Neritopsina   Superorder Caenogastropoda     Architaenioglossa     Sorbeoconcha   Superorder Heterobranchia     Heterostropha     Opisthobranchia     Pulmonata The gastropods, or univalves, are the largest and most successful class of mollusks, with 60,000-75,000 species, and second largest class... Orders Agnostida Nectaspida Redlichiida Corynexochida Lichida Phacopida Subclass: Librostoma Proetida Asaphida Harpetida Ptychopariida For the robot vacuum cleaner, see Electrolux Trilobite. ... Index fossils (or zone fossils) are fossils used to define and identify geologic periods (or faunal stages). ...


Corals are not restricted to reefs, and many solitary corals may be found in rocks where reefs are not present, such as Cyclocyathus which occurs in England's Gault clay formation. For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... The Gault Clay is a formation of stiff blue clay deposited in a calm, fairly deep water marine environment during the Lower Cretaceous Period (Upper and Middle Albian). ...


Environmental effects

A coral reef can be an oasis for marine life.
A coral reef can be an oasis for marine life.

Corals are highly sensitive to environmental changes. Scientists have predicted that over 50% of the coral reefs in the world may be destroyed by the year 2030;[15] as a result they are generally protected through environmental laws. A coral reef can easily be swamped in algae if there are too many nutrients in the water. Coral will also die if the water temperature changes by more than a degree or two beyond its normal range or if the salinity of the water drops. In an early symptom of environmental stress, corals expel their zooxanthellae; without their symbiotic unicellular algae, coral tissues become colorless as they reveal the white of their calcium carbonate skeletons, an event known as coral bleaching.[16] Download high resolution version (600x849, 185 KB)A coral reef. ... Download high resolution version (600x849, 185 KB)A coral reef. ... This article is about the natural environment. ... Algae have conventionally been regarded as simple plants within the study of botany. ... Nutrients and the body A nutrient is any element or compound necessary for or contributing to an organisms metabolism, growth, or other functioning. ... Annual mean sea surface salinity for the World Ocean. ... Zooxanthellae are golden-brown endosymbionts of various marine animals and protozoa. ... Warm pink and yellow host coral organism due to stress. ...


Many governments now prohibit removal of coral from reefs to reduce damage by divers. However, damage is still caused by anchors dropped by dive boats or fishermen. In places where local fishing causes reef damage, education schemes have been run to inform the population about reef protection and ecology. Scuba diving is swimming underwater while using self-contained breathing equipment. ...


The narrow niche that coral occupies, and the stony corals' reliance on calcium carbonate deposition, means they are very susceptible to changes in water pH. Ocean acidification, caused by dissolution of carbon dioxide in the water that lowers pH, is currently occurring in the surface waters of the world's oceans due to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. Lowered pH reduces the ability of corals to produce calcium carbonate skeletons, and at the extreme, results in the dissolution of those skeletons entirely. Without deep and early cuts in anthropogenic CO2, scientists fear that ocean acidification may inevitably result in the severe degradation or destruction of coral species and ecosystems.[17] Two lichens on a rock, in two different ecological niches In ecology, a niche; (pronounced nich, neesh or nish)[1] is a term describing the relational position of a species or population in its ecosystem[1]. The ecological niche; describes how an organism or population responds to the distribution of... Families Suborder Astrocoeiina   Acroporidae   Astrocoeniidae   Pocilloporiidae Suborder Caryophylliina   Caryophylliidae Suborder Dendrophylliina   Dendrophylliidae Suborder Faviina   Astrangiidae   Faviidae   Meandrinidae   Mirulinidae   Mussidae   Oculinidae   Pectiniidae   Trachyphyllidae Suborder Fungiina   Agariciidae   Fungiidae   Poritidae   Siderastreidae   Thamnasteriidae Scleractinia, also called Stony star corals, are exclusively marine animals; they are very similar to sea anemones but generate a hard... Calcium carbonate is a chemical compound, with the chemical formula CaCO3. ... For other uses, see PH (disambiguation). ... Change in sea surface pH caused by anthropogenic CO2 between the 1700s and the 1990s Ocean acidification is the name given to the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earths oceans, caused by their uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. ...

A section through a coral, dyed to determine growth rate
A section through a coral, dyed to determine growth rate

A combination of temperature changes, pollution, and overuse by divers and jewelry producers has led to the destruction of many coral reefs around the world. This has increased the importance of coral biology as a discipline. Climatic variations can cause temperature changes that destroy corals. For example, during the 1997-98 warming event all the hydrozoan Millepora boschmai colonies near Panamá were bleached and died within six years - this species is now thought to be extinct.[18] Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1876x1562, 399 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Coral Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1876x1562, 399 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Coral Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create... In marine science, coral biology is the study of various aspects of coral biology like cellular biology, molecular biology and ecology of coral behaviour. ... Subclasses Anthomedusae Laingiomedusae Leptomedusae Limnomedusae Siphonophorae Actinulidae Narcomedusae Trachymedusae Polypodiozoa Organisms of the Class Hydrozoa belong to the phylum Cnidaria. ... Panama (Spanish: Panamá) is the southernmost country of Central America. ...


Uses

Live corals

Local economies near major coral reefs benefit from an abundance of fish and octopus as a food source. Reefs also provide recreational scuba diving and snorkeling tourism. Unfortunately all these activities can also have deleterious effects, such as removal or accidental destruction of coral. Besides the recreational use, coral is also useful as a protection against hurricanes and other extreme weather. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1632 × 1224 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1632 × 1224 pixel, file size: 1. ... Scuba diving is swimming underwater while using self-contained breathing equipment. ... A snorkeler amid corals on a coral reef near Fiji. ...


Red shades of coral are sometimes used as a gemstone, especially in Tibet. In vedic astrology, red coral represents Mars. Pure red coral is known as 'fire coral' and is very rare because of the demand for perfect fire coral in jewellery-making. Precious coral or red coral is the common name given to Corallium rubrum and several related species of marine coral. ... This article is about historical/cultural Tibet. ... Precious coral or red coral is the common name given to Corallium rubrum and several related species of marine coral. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...

Live corals in Papua New Guinea
Live corals in Papua New Guinea

Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1632 × 1224 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1632 × 1224 pixel, file size: 1. ...

Ancient corals

Ancient coral reefs on land are often mined for lime or use as building blocks ("coral rag"), for example the Portland limestone of the Isle of Portland. Coral rag is an important local building material in places such as the East African coast. Coral rag is a rubbly limestone composed of ancient coral reef material. ... Portland Stone is limestone from the Jurassic period quarried on the Isle of Portland, Dorset. ... The Isle of Portland is a long by wide limestone island in the English Channel. ...


Some coral species exhibit banding in their skeletons resulting from annual variations in their growth rate. In fossil and modern corals these bands allow geologists to construct year-by-year chronologies, a form of incremental dating, which can provide high-resolution records of past climatic and environmental changes when combined with geochemical analysis of each band.[19] A year (from Old English gēr) is the time between two recurrences of an event related to the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. ... For other uses, see Fossil (disambiguation). ... The Geologist by Carl Spitzweg A geologist is a contributor to the science of geology, studying the physical structure and processes of the Earth and planets of the solar system (see planetary geology). ... Incremental dating techniques allow the construction of year-by-year annual chronologies, which can be fixed ( linked to the present day and thus calendar or sidereal time) or floating. ... The field of geochemistry involves study of the chemical composition of the Earth and other planets, chemical processes and reactions that govern the composition of rocks and soils, and the cycles of matter and energy that transport the Earths chemical components in time and space, and their interaction with...


Certain species of corals form communities called microatolls. The vertical growth of microatolls is limited by average tidal height. By analyzing the various growth morphologies, microatolls can be used as a low resolution record of patterns of sea level change. Fossilized microatolls can also be dated using radioactive carbon dating to obtain a chronology of patterns of sea level change. Such methods have been used to used to reconstruct Holocene sea levels.[20] A microatoll is a small colony of coral dead on the top as a result of exposure at low tide. ... The Holocene epoch is a geological period, which began approximately 11,550 calendar years BP (about 9600 BC) and continues to the present. ...


Gallery

References

  1. ^ a b Daly, M., Fautin, D.G., and Cappola, V.A. (March 2003). "Systematics of the Hexacorallia (Cnidaria: Anthozoa)". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 139: 419-437. 
  2. ^ a b McFadden, C.S., France, S.C., Sanchez, J.A., and Alderslade, P. (December 2006). "A molecular phylogenetic analysis of the Octocorallia (Cnidaria: Anthozoa) based on mitochondrial protein-coding sequences.". Molecular Phylogenentics and Evolution 41 (3): 413-527. PubMed. 
  3. ^ Squires, D.F. (1959). "Deep sea corals collected by the Lamont Geological Observatory. 1. Atlantic corals". American Museum Novitates 1965: 1-42. 
  4. ^ France, S. C., P. E. Rosel, J. E. Agenbroad, L. S. Mullineaux, and T. D. Kocher (March 1996). "DNA sequence variation of mitochondrial large-subunit rRNA provides support for a two subclass organization of the Anthozoa (Cnidaria)". Molecular Marine Biology and Biotechnology 5 (1): 15-28. PubMed. 
  5. ^ Anatomy of Coral. Marine Reef. Retrieved on 2006-03-31.
  6. ^ D. Gateno, A. Israel, Y. Barki and B. Rinkevich (1998). "Gastrovascular Circulation in an Octocoral: Evidence of Significant Transport of Coral and Symbiont Cells". The Biological Bulletin 194 (2): 178-186. 
  7. ^ a b Madl, P. and Yip, M. (2000). Field Excursion to Milne Bay Province - Papua New Guinea. Retrieved on 2006-03-31.
  8. ^ W. W. Toller, R. Rowan and N. Knowlton (2001). "Repopulation of Zooxanthellae in the Caribbean Corals Montastraea annularis and M. faveolata following Experimental and Disease-Associated Bleaching". The Biological Bulletin 201: 360-373. 
  9. ^ a b Veron, JEN (2000). Corals of the World. Vol 3, 3rd, Australia: Australian Institute of Marine Sciences and CRR Qld Pty Ltd.. ISBN 0-86542-834-4. 
  10. ^ a b Barnes, R. and R. Hughes (1999). An Introduction to Marine Ecology, 3rd, Malden, MA: Blackwell Science, Inc., 117-141. ISBN 0-86542-834-4. 
  11. ^ Jones, O.A. and R. Endean. (1973). Biology and Geology of Coral Reefs. New York, USA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 205-245. ISBN 0-12-389602-9. 
  12. ^ Hatta, M., Fukami, H., Wang, W., Omori, M., Shimoike, K., Hayashibara, T., Ina, Y., Sugiyama, T. (1999). "Reproductive and genetic evidence for a reticulate evolutionary theory of mass spawning corals". Molecular Biology and Evolution 16 (11): 1607-1613. PubMed. 
  13. ^ Spalding, Mark, Corinna Ravilious, and Edmund Green (2001). World Atlas of Coral Reefs. Berkeley, CA, USA: University of California Press and UNEP/WCMC, 205-245. 
  14. ^ Pratt, B.R.; Spincer, B.R., R.A. Wood and A.Yu. Zhuravlev (2001). "12: Ecology and Evolution of Cambrian Reefs", Ecology of the Cambrian Radiation. Columbia University Press, 259. ISBN 0231106130. 
  15. ^ Norlander (8 December 2003). "Coral crisis! Humans are killing off these bustling underwater cities. Can coral reefs be saved? (Life science: corals)". Science World. 
  16. ^ Hoegh-Guldberg, O. (1999). "Climate change, coral bleaching and the future of the world's coral reefs". Marine and Freshwater Research 50 (8): 839-866. 
  17. ^ Gattuso, J.P., Frankignoulle, M., Bourge, I., Romaine, S. and Buddemeier, R.W. (1998). "Effect of calcium carbonate saturation of seawater on coral calcification". Global Planet Change 18: 37-46. 
  18. ^ Glynn, P.W. (2001). "History of significant coral bleaching events and insights regarding amelioration". Coral Bleaching and Marine Protected Areas: Proceedings of the Workshop on Mitigating Coral Bleaching Impact Through MPA Design. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii, 29-31 May 2001: 36-39. 
  19. ^ Schrag, D.P. and Linsley, B.K. (2002). "Corals, Chemistry, and Climate". Science 296 (8): 277-278. PubMed. 
  20. ^ Smithers, S.G. and Woodroffe, C.D. (August 2000). "Microatolls as sea-level indicators on a mid-ocean atoll.". Marine Geology 168 (1-4): 61-78. 
  21. ^ Ben M. Waggoner (2000). David Smith and Allen Collins:Anthozoa: Fossil Record. Anthozoa. UCMP. Retrieved on 2007-04-09.
  22. ^ William A. Oliver, Jr. (2003). Corals: Table 1. Fossil Groups. USGS. Retrieved on 2007-04-09.

Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 90th day of the year (91st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 90th day of the year (91st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 342nd day of the year (343rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The University of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP) is a paleontology museum located on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, California, USA. The museum is in the Valley Life Sciences Building at Berkeley and the collections are primarily intended for research. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 99th day of the year (100th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is a scientific agency of the United States government. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 99th day of the year (100th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

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Image File history File links Wikispecies-logo. ... Wikispecies is a wiki-based online project supported by the Wikimedia Foundation that aims to create a comprehensive free content catalogue of all species (including animalia, plantae, fungi, bacteria, archaea, and protista). ... Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... The Wikimedia Commons (also called Wikicommons) is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. ...


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