Brain Corals, Red Sea Corals

Red Sea Coral Reefs

Corals belong to a group of animals called Cnidarians. This includes hard and soft corals, sea fans, gorgonians, jelly fish and sea anemones. Amongst other common characteristics is the presence of stinging cells (nematocysts) which are used to catch prey.

A single coral animal is a polyp - the attractive "flowery" item looking like an anemone. The soft coral shown above is actually a colony of animals, each connected to its neighbour by living tissues. Soft corals are not reef-building, although they do secrete limestone. In their case this is as internal crystals called sclerites or spicules. Because soft corals do not have large skeletons, they grow faster than hard corals

Eight feathery tentacles surround the coral's mouth and whip food into it. They filter-feed: removing plankton from water flowing around the colony. Relatively recent data on soft corals indicates that they feed on very small planktonic particles, such as single-celled algae, rather than larger larvae as had previously been thought.

Red Sea Corals

There is about 205 hard coral species and about 120 soft coral species found here at Ras Mohamed colonizing the reef walls and competing for space and nutrients. These different corals have different functions in the formation of the reef walls. Different species live at different depths due to their different light requirements. Again, it is the branching corals that tend to dominate the shallow parts of the reef while the deeper parts have more massive colonies which take on a flattened, plate-like growth form to maximize their light capture.

The Red Sea is an underwater paradise mainly because of one thing: the Coral Reefs. Coral Reefs form via colonies of a stationary animal with a calcified skeleton. The coral animals feed by filtering plankton from the water, driven its way by sea currents. As the animals die off, their skeletons form the basis of the reef, and other animals adhere to the mass, and the cycle continues. Corals also have algae living within its tissue. These algaes use photosynthesis to build up nutrients from sea minerals and dissolved carbon dioxide. It is the algae that give the corals their varying colors.
differnet types of res sea corals, Red Sea Diving
Most of the Red Sea coast is rimmed by extensive shallow submarine shelves that support extensive fringing reef systems, which are by far the dominant major coral reef type found here. These reef platforms are over 5000 years old, and extend along some 2,000 km (1,240 miles) of coastline. Most are composed primarily of branching corals of the genera Acropora and Porites. Some of the fringing reef systems grow directly from the shoreline.

Brain Corals

Brain Corals is a collection of species of coral characterized by the spheroid shape of their colonies. Brain corals are found in warm-water coral reefs in all the world's oceans. Brain corals are part of the phylum Cnidaria, in a class called Anthozoa or "sea flowers." Brain coral received its name because of how closely it resembles a human brain. The life span of brain coral is 200 years.

Brain corals use their tentacles to catch food during the day. At night, the brain corals use their tentacles for protection by wrapping them over the grooves on their surface.
Green Brain Coral, Red Sea Corals
Green Brain Coral, Red Sea Corals

Last Updated on Friday 17th December 2010