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According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, coral reefs are formed when coral larvae attach themselves to rocks or other hard surfaces found under water along the edges of islands and along coasts. Additionally, plants may also accumulate within th...


Coral reefs start to form when coral larvae attach to rocks or hard surfaces that are submerged under water. Coral polyps secrete calcium carbonate, closing off each layer as they grow bigger. Each polyp bonds itself to other polyps, eventually forming reef structures.


Coral reefs are important to the biodiversity of Earth. According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, coral reefs house more species than any other marine habitat, making them the equivalent of an underwater rain forest. The life there provides ...


According to the non-profit project Coral Science, coral reefs are not lodged in soil. The rocky substance in which they are fixed is made by the corals themselves. They live in colonies made of many polyps that build skeletons from the underside of their skin.


Coral reefs are endangered due to rising global temperatures, pollution and overfishing. It is estimated that about 1/5 of all coral reefs on the planet have been destroyed. The remaining ones could potentially vanish by 2050.


Dolphins live near coral reefs, but they do not live in coral reefs. Dolphins, like all other ocean species, benefit from a robust coral reef ecosystem, because reef inhabitants maintain the balance of nutrients that helps to normalize water quality.


A coral reef's food chain starts with algae that produce food from water, carbon dioxide and sunlight, which are eaten by microscopic organisms, invertebrates, fish and turtles, which are eaten in turn by predators. All ecosystems, including coral reef ecosystems, have ...