Essay on Rainforests of the Ocean

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Rainforests of the Ocean

Coral reefs are large societies of small living organisms. They are made up of millions of various creatures including fish, starfish, sea urchins, and so much more. Despite the fact that coral reefs make up fewer than one percentage of the Earth’s surface, coral reefs are still one of the greatest diversified ecosystems in the world due to the creatures that live in and around the reefs. Coral reefs are located in shallow, warm waters in the tropics around the Bahamas, in the Red Sea, and near the Hawaiian islands. The largest coral reefs are the Great Barrier Reef, the Red Sea Coral Reef, and the New Caledonia Barrier Reef. (“The World’s 10 Largest Coral Reefs”)
Coral reefs are made up of the calcium carbonate skeletons of polyps. Polyps are soft, tube-shaped bodies that eventually join together. Their shape is that of a tin can with an open mouth, ringed by long tentacles with stinging cells. Since polyps are not able to move, they use these stinging cells to capture any creature that ventures within its grasp. Individual polyps are most often very small, but their skeletons build up to eventually form the large colonies we are used to seeing. Polyps construct the hard, exterior skeleton to protect their bodies. When carbon dioxide blends with the sea water, carbonic acid is formed. The polyps take calcium ions out of the water and forms calcium carbonate which is used to build a limestone skeleton. Although the original skeletons are plain…

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