All coral reefs start off as a single polyp. A polyp is essentially a small tissue from the surface inside the body, somewhat similar to a sea anemone. Stony coral species live in colonies and discharge calcium carbonate, which acts as an external skeleton. Like jellyfish and sea anemone, which are their relatives, coral polyps have tentacles that are used to catch food. The tentacles are tucked away during the day, but reach out to catch their prey, mainly plankton, by stinging them.
On an annual basis, coral reefs release their gametes (reproductive cells) simultaneously. This phenomenon is most likely prompted by the right phase of the lunar and solar cycles as well as optimum water temperature...Read More