Corals are marine organisms that typically live in compact colonies of many identical individual “polyps.”
There are 3 types of corals:
- Perforate corals – corals can be perforate or imperforate. Perforate corals have porous skeletons which allow their polyps to connect with each other through the skeleton. Imperforate corals have hard solid skeletons. These types of coral are often found in coral reefs and shallow, tropic waters.
- Hermatypic corals – also known as stony corals which build reefs. They convert surplus food to calcium carbonate forming a hard skeleton.
- Ahermatypic corals – do not build reefs and are also known as soft corals. They are flexible and are often perforated, with a lacy appearance.
The types of coral explains why some look like rocks and some like flowers. There are many, many species of coral, some quite unspectacular, but many are breath-takingly eye-catching.
This showcase features 20 stunning examples of colourful coral photography, and some include a few coral residents.