Coral Reef Biome

One of the biggest biomes is the Coral Reef Biome.  Even though this biome only makes up a little more than 20% of the biomes, it is very important because there are many different marine animals that live in and around the coral reefs.

Coral Reef Biome

Coral Reef

A coral reef looks like plants and rocks, but it is actually alive and is a bunch of organisms.  These organisms are very small animals and they are called polyps.  When the polyps die, they become hard and then when they become hard, other coral reefs begin to grow on top of them.  This is the reason that many of the coral reefs look long and like they are large.

What Do Polyps or Coral Reef Eat?

Polyps, like any other animal, need to eat to live.  The polyps love to eat tiny animals and algae.  The polyps often times eat plankton, which are very, very small.

Algae grows close to the top of the surface of the water because it has to have sunlight in order to grow.  The sunlight helps the algae grow by using photosynthesis.  When the photosynthesis causes the algae to grow, the polyps can have more food to eat.

Coral Reefs are known to grow and to live closer to the surface of the water so that they can live off of the algae as it continues to grow.

Where Can You Find Coral Reefs?

You can find coral reefs in many areas around the world.  Since the coral reef grow close to the surface of the water, they are found close to different islands that are located all around the world.

Some of the biggest areas of coral reef include places such as Australia and Asia.  In Australia, there is even a place called the Great Barrier Reef and this place is one of the biggest places that coral reefs are found.  The Great Barrier Reef is more than 2,000 miles long.

Different Coral Reefs

Coral Reefs develop in different areas and in these areas are different types of animals and marine life.

Table bottom

Inner Reef Zone

In the Inner Reef Zone, there are coral reef that are found between the shoreline and the crest.  This area has many different marine lives such as starfish, fish, sea cucumbers, octopus and other sea life.

Crest Reef Zone

The Crest Reef Zone is the zone that is the highest zone of the coral reefs.  In this area, there may not be as many animals that live in this zone because this is where the waves break.  This causes there to be a lot of action in this zone and many of the animals stray away from this zone.

Outer Reef Zone

The Outer Reef Zone is very deep, and this is where most of the marine life are found.  There is more life in this area because this is where the water is the calmest and where most of the animals live.  There are also many different types of coral reef species that can be found in this zone.

Types of Coral Reef

There are three types of coral reefs; atoll, barrier reef and the fringe reef.

The atoll is a coral reef that forms into a circle.  This reef usually is found around an island that has volcanoes.  When the coral begins to grow, it causes the island to go into the water and it leaves just the coral reef floating.  Some atolls are so large that people can even live on them.

Barrier reefs are found very far away from the shore.  They are usually found way out into the water and they grow far away from the shore.

Fringe Reefs grow close to the sore and are often times found close to channels or around lagoons.


More Facts About Coral Reef Biome:

  • There are different species of coral such as finger coral, cactus coral and more.
  • Some plants that live in the Coral Reef Biome are seaweed, algae and sea grasses.
  • There are many amazing animals found in the Coral Reef Biome such as starfish, sharks, clownfish, fish, eels and more.
  • There are over 1000 different types of fish that are found in the Coral Reef Biome.
  • There are over 400 different kinds of coral that are found in the Coral Reef Biome.
  • Coral Reefs grow very slowly so when they are destroyed, it takes them a long time to grow back.
  • Some animals help the coral survive and the coral helps the animals survive.
  • Coral Reefs can grow in different shapes.
  • When the water gets too warm or salty, the coral can lose their color and become white.
  • Pollution kills the Coral Reefs.

What Did You Learn?

  • What are Coral Reefs?  Coral Reefs are animals called polyps.  When the polyps die, they become hard and other coral reefs grow on them.
  • Can Coral Reefs be large?  Coral Reefs can grow to be very large.  Even the Great Barrier Reef, which is the largest coral reef in the world, can be seen from outer space because it is so big.
  • What do polyps eat?  Polyps eat algae and plankton to live.
  • Do animals live in the Coral Reef Biome?  There are many animals and species that live in the Coral Reef Biome.
  • What kind of water do the Coral Reef grow in?  Coral Reef grow in warm and shallow water.  Most of the coral reefs are found closer to the equator than in other areas.
  • Are Coral Reef in danger?  Coral Reefs take a long time to grow and they can be damaged by pollution, by being touched and even by boats or other floating objects.