What Do Animals Like On A Coral Reef Do That Makes Them Unique

A group of underwater

One of the most interesting groups of coral reef animals that you will want to see are the clown fish. These fish are also called bottlenose clams because of the shape of their bellies. They come in a variety of colors including white, yellow and pink, depending on where they are found in the marine aquarium.

They have gills that fit very comfortably in their mouth and they do not have teeth, so they use their tongues to suck tiny creatures from the ocean bottom. Because of this adaptation, the average length of these animals is about 4 inches when they are fully grown. There are about 2500 known coral reef animals and they are divided into two main categories, which are the inhabitants of the coral reef and the fishes that live in the coral reef. You might be surprised to know that there are actually a lot more fishes in the coral reef than there are inhabitants. There are about five thousand types of corals and about twelve hundred kinds of fishes.

These Are Called Zooids

A man swimming in the water

Some of the animals in the coral reefs go so far as to form their own communities. These are called zooids. For instance, there are about thirty different types of coral reefs in the Caribbean alone that are made up of a single community. Each community has fish that are dominant and take over most of the food supply. There are also several instances of animals that are both predators and prey in the coral reefs.

Some examples are the starfish, barracuda, shark, scala, Harlequin shrimp and spadefish. There are also a number of animals that help to create the food chain for the corals. They include: polyps, cork cells, carry shells and other sea life. Some animals like sponges also help to encroach on the surface of the coral reefs.

The Animal Can Adapt Easily To Its Environment

Some corals may have a single dominant animal that is the sole proprietor of the coral. In these cases, the animal can adapt easily to its environment because it has little competition to eat. This can be a little surprising because animals like corals need sunlight to produce food. Yet, when they do not get enough sunlight, corals cannot grow. This is how animals like fish get to live on corals.

Animals can also be very clever and develop different adaptations to survive. A good example of an animal that uses its corals for shelter is the butterfly. Butterflies actually come out of their cocoons as adults. They have been able to change their bodies into a very compact version that fits perfectly onto the corals that they are living on.

The Clownfish

One example of animals that need to move around in order to stay alive is the clownfish. These fish come out of the water to look for food. However, they are so slow that they have trouble swimming over long distances. In order for them to be able to reach the food that they need, they have developed these really small appendages called the tail. The tail is actually used as a rudder, so that they can move fast and even walk on the corals.

Final Words

There are hundreds of animals that take up residence on coral reefs. Some of them need to adapt to their environment while others are just there to observe and perhaps make friends. When viewing marine animals in their natural habitats, it becomes easier to see the beauty and elegance of the ecosystem that they belong to.

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