If you’ve walked along the beach, you’ve likely seen pieces of coral on the sand. Coral seashells are found scattered along the shores along with other beautiful and unique shells. However, coral shells are special because they come from coral reefs that are abundant in the ocean. Let’s explore these cool facts about coral reefs and their contribution to the ecosystem.
Reefs Can Be Over A Thousand Years Old
Reefs come in many different sizes, with size depending on several factors including age. Larger reefs can be more than a thousand years old, such as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Some reefs can be more than 5,000 years old and go for miles, creating a large ecosystem of reefs.
Corals Clean the Sea
Of the many functions of coral reefs includes increasing the quality of water. All of the plants and organisms on corals filter sea water, trapping particles and debris and using them as food. Corals grow much larger when they are in areas with strong currents that carry debris and nourishment that causes the coral to thrive.
Reefs Protect Wildlife
Coral reefs, especially barrier reefs, protect shallow areas in the water from threats in the open ocean. These shallow areas are the home of many sea creatures as well as plant life that could not thrive anywhere else. Animals also use reefs as a nesting ground and nursery, where eggs and juvenile sea creatures can grow up and be safe from ocean predators.
Coral reefs are an important part of the ocean, providing sea life with homes and nesting grounds while keeping the waters clean and stabilizing the sea bed. It’s important to preserve coral reefs, so do plenty of research and make efforts to keep coral reefs thriving and coral shells abundant.