SCUBA QUIZ: Can You ID these Coral Species?
Do you think you know something about corals? Test your knowledge and impress your dive buddies! No need for scientific names, this quiz is easy and fun!
Did you know corals are animals? They are tiny polyps that sometimes live in large colonies. Some are able to make a calcium carbonate skeleton that might look like a rock or plant while others follow the movement of the water. Corals are an ancient life form that exists over 240 million years.
Do you know the names of these four coral species? Click on the photos to enlarge.
AnswersClick the photos to see the answer!
Brain coral (Colpophyllia natans) is a hard coral that is easily recognized by its brainy shape. Rock-like hard corals are often mistaken for rocks and touched by divers or snorkelers to stabilize. By touching coral to stabilize yourself or to take a photo you could kill hundreds of polyps. (Read more here).
Soft corals often have the most stunning shapes and bright colors. This is a tree coral, or Nephtheidae, or Dendronephthya hemprichi. Picture taken at Raja Ampat, Indonesia. True soft corals are easily recognized by their eight arms. They do not produce a calcium skeleton.
Sea fans or Gorgonians (Gorgonia flabellum) belong to the Octocorals, often referred to as soft corals. Gorgonians often have a branching fan-like form. They face water currents to expose catch food, they are filter-feeders.
This massive Elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) has beautiful branches! colonies are fast growing, making it a master reef builder. They belong to the hard corals and can grow up to 3 meters / 10 feet high.
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