What Corals Eats in a Day

Written by Raisa Sasikirana

November 26th, 2021

First of all, maybe you have been watching all the trends of what I eat in a day’s video. Today, we will learn what corals eat in a day.  Corals, just like humans, have a routine and what they usually consume in a day. Corals might look similar to plants, but they are animals with mouths, arms and stomachs. 

 

Let’s learn their anatomy first!

A coral is a colony of many identical individual polyps and we call them coral polyps. The distant cousin of jellyfish, thousands of coral polyps can make up a coral. 

Coral polyps

Coral polyps

 

A coral polyp is a cylinder-like shape surrounded by tentacles. A polyp is mostly a stomach and a mouth on top; they have arm-like tentacles to gather food. After they digest the food, the polyp’s waste will exit through the mouth.

 

Now it’s time to talk about their routine. 

Corals, unlike humans, actively gather food at night. They will stretch their long tentacles to snatch zooplankton and other food particles passing by. However, many will put out feeding tentacles when they sense food. 

 

So what is their food? Polyp takes in and dissolves minerals and mixes them with protein. Then, polyps will rise out of its skeleton leaving space below. By doing this, polyps will deposit calcium carbonate or known as limestone, to fill the space. Over time polyps not only build their skeleton but also add to the structure of the reef. 

 

Polyps didn’t work alone; it has a unique partnership with algae, Zooxanthellae. The algae will use energy from the sun to photosynthesize and produce up to 95% food for polyps: sugar, oxygen, and fats. As a partner, Polyps will produce such as Carbon dioxide, phosphorus and nitrogen which is the food for the algae. Not only that, coral also provides them with a protected place to live.

 

Also, as we mentioned, polyps live in a colony; they can work together and share their nutrients. A tissue called Coenosarc helps connect their stomach, where they can share food and nutrients they need. 

 

Coral reefs are among the most complex and fascinating marine ecosystems in the sea and are sometimes considered the “rainforests of the sea.” 

 

So, what can you learn from the “What corals eat in a day” Blog ?

Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

 

Written By: Diah Sukmarani

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