Coral Reef Biology | JONATHAN BIRD'S BLUE WORLD - Lake Harding Association

Coral Reef Biology | JONATHAN BIRD’S BLUE WORLD

Coral Reef Biology | JONATHAN BIRD’S BLUE WORLD

By Micah Moen 100 Comments August 14, 2019


Coming up next on Jonathan Bird’s Blue World,
Jonathan explores the world of coral reefs from the Caribbean to Australia! Hi, I’m Jonathan Bird and welcome to my
world! Coral reefs are one of the most important
inhabitants of shallow tropical oceans. A coral reef may look like a bunch of colorful
rocks, or perhaps some unusual-looking plants, but it’s actually a strange primitive animal. Each coral animal, called a polyp, is only
about the size of a pearl. It’s little more than a mouth with some
tentacles around it. The tentacles are used to catch plankton to
eat. Coral is closely related to another tentacle-equipped
animal: the jelly. If you can imagine a small jelly stuck to
the bottom that can’t swim, that’s a coral polyp. But unlike jellies, coral polyps grow together
in colonies called a coral head. This coral head has several hundred polyps. A bigger one has thousands! Beneath the living skin of the coral is a
skeleton made of calcium carbonate. A dead piece of coral is heavy like a rock,
because the calcium carbonate is limestone—a type of rock. This heavy limestone base anchors the colony
so waves and storms can’t move coral reefs. The creation of limestone is slow. It takes hundreds of years for a coral head
to reach the size of this brain coral. And in spite of the fact that it looks like
a brain, coral has no brain. Or eyes. Some corals are not hard as a rock. There are many species of soft corals. Some look like bushes or fans. These are often called gorgonians, sea whips
or sea fans. Others look like pastel works of art. Soft corals grow anchored to the bottom and
look to most people like plants. But up close, you can see the coral polyps. Instead of a hard skeleton, these soft corals
have tiny splinters of calcium carbonate inside called spicules. They allow the coral to bend and flex with
the waves. When many coral colonies grow together, the
result is a reef. It’s a living, growing structure that provides
nooks and crannies for everything from invertebrates to fish. A reef is like the buildings in a city, providing
housing and protection for thousands of animals. When a reef forms, it creates new habitat
for other animals. Maybe it starts out as just a small coral
head with only space for a few fish. But as it grows over many years, more and
more marine life flocks to the reef until it is a thriving metropolis. Of course, all those small fish living around
the reef attract larger fish like jacks, barracudas and even sharks looking for a meal. The reef provides a foothold for algae and
sponges. And that in turn attracts sea turtles to eat
the sponges. And it all starts with just one tiny coral
colony. So much life in the tropical oceans depends
on coral reefs. Coral reefs can grow quite large. The largest one in the world is the Great
Barrier Reef off northeastern Australia, which is over 1500 miles long! It’s so big it can be seen from space! Coral reefs live all around the world in tropical
waters. They can’t live in cold water because the
coral is unable to create calcium carbonate if the water gets too cold. Unfortunately, there is not much plankton
in tropical water. That’s why it’s so nice and clear. But at night, plankton comes up from cooler,
deeper water and that’s when the coral feeds. Unfortunately, most of the time, coral still
doesn’t catch enough plankton to survive. So it has worked out a great partnership. Many corals have a greenish or brownish color
because they have tiny microscopic algae living in their skin called zooxanthellae. The zooxanthellae make energy from the sun’s
rays. In exchange for having a nice place to live
in the skin of the coral, they share some of their energy with the coral. So the coral is partially solar powered. As long as they grow in nice shallow, sunlit
water, solar powered corals don’t need to catch much plankton. This is why reefs form in shallow water. Sometimes I see coral that is turning white
as if it’s losing its color. This is called bleaching. When corals are subjected to environmental
stress, such as high or low water temperatures, changes in salinity or pH, siltation, or even
just too much sun from a really low tide, they start to turn white. This happens because the zooxanthellae starts
to die. Since corals get their color from the zooxanthellae,
when the zooxanthellae goes away, so does the color. And if it goes on for too long, the coral
dies because it needs the energy from the zooxanthellae. Since most coral is as hard as a rock, very
few animals can actually eat it. But a few can. The crown of thorns sea star dines on the
outer skin of the coral. An outbreak of crown-of-thorns sea stars can
wreak havoc on a reef. All that remains of the coral after a crown-of-thorns
attack is a dead white skeleton. Parrotfish eat coral too. They take big crunchy bites out of the reef,
and grind up the calcium carbonate as they chew. The parrotfish have a tough beak that’s
as hard as steel for biting the reef. And the hard particles that they excrete later
end up as sand on the beach. It’s true–tropical beaches are made partly
of fish poop. So the next time you are relaxing on a tropical
beach or snorkeling in shallow water looking at the fish, you have coral to thank. It’s a very simple animal that can’t walk
or swim, can’t see, and has no brain—but nearly all life in shallow tropical oceans
depends on coral reefs.

100 Comments found

User

dontpuchit

parrotfish look english

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premachu2

corals can grow in cold places actually. England has them

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User

Sighman42

I wish you guys mentioned that coral reefs around the world are rapidly disappearing because of human activity. It is barely mentioned even though it's one of the most disastrous ecological problems of our time. Raising awareness is always helpful.

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User

Howl

Your videos never fail to impress me. Good job!

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User

Wan Mahmoud

Jonathan Bird Can You Make a Video about The Raja Ampats Coral Reef In Indonesia

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Claire Bear

Keep them videos coming…

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User

Something Something Something

You just ruined sandcastles for me 🙁

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User

Admiral Cat

I thought sponges are corals. What are they?

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Gaultier Delbarre

gosh i hate crown of thorns sea stars. grrr. .

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User

Wespa64

yeah lets swim right through that fish poop, slow and steady mmmmmh

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User

Highbaby9

I love your videos, always so impressed. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to the next one.

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Jeroro Mouse

wait… so we are playing fishpoop castle all along???

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Muzz Shah

is it true the great barrier reef dying ?

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User

Killerwhale 6011

Hey Johnathan you should see killer whales LIKE ME. Maybe you can swim with orcas.

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User

TFL sea dragon

Jonathan bird can find a jelly

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User

נבו שנף

do more videos with diving

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halyssa 2005

I love learning about the ocean.

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User

Ksa shypop

جميل جدا

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User

Ksa shypop

i love you world

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User

Kyle Rowe

Great video

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Jeff Gabe

When I saw this video I screamed YESSSSS then my sister said why are you screaming

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Richard Currin

You can't upload these awesome videos fast and often enough for me!

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User

H2O INFINITY

One of my fav episodes!!!!!

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Mister Gamer15

Amazing Video, as always ;D

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User

Tai Lopez Changed My Life

awesome video

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User

Marcos Farah Nagato

Really neat! !!
I'll only add that it was a great chance to comment about global warming and pollution, which are causing bleaching and destruction of reefs all over the world.

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User

Myggan

Hey Jonathan! Have you ever seen a sunfish? I would love to see you dive with one! 😀

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User

miguel angel ramirez

wow es hermoso el océano!! gracias por subir videos mostrandonos la vida dentro del agua 😀

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Tom Knudsen

Thank you for sharing your wisdom , knowledge and first grade photage, love from a diver in Norway

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User

MultiKrillz

Amazing like always! Keep the good work up. Subscribed

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User

Joseph LaBara

Great video.. Keep them coming..

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User

Cx0e

Johnathan,Do you have any videos about The Blue shark or The Six gill shark.If there isn't,When are you going to make a video about them.
I heard the Six gill Bluntnose is pretty cool and lives in kelp forests.

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User

Eduardo Pin

Zooxanthellae, one more thing I have learned with you… Here in Brazil it's pretty usual to close the beaches when Coral starts to get white, this is in order to protect the reef, now I know why they get white…
Thanks Jonh…

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User

Pablo Jill

Is coral sentient?

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R MH

Does coral grow like baby humans – the soft squishy parts growing in tandem with the skeleton, or does one or the other come first?

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User

Katie Garcia

Great video!! It's perfect for my AP environmental science class. I will be showing it to them. THANKS for being so awesome!

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User

vasim shikalgar

great good job.hats off yo u bro

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User

Tziporah ladin-gross

Zooxanthellae is pronounced Zoax-than-thel-lay

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Alana Frazer

AWESOME VIDEO. This will help me with my studies. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

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User

Vidya Pandey

hello Jonathan please make a mako shark video and shark academy

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User

Lucas an Alien

What mask do you wear?
Please respond im just starting to scuba dive

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User

Ayden Garcia

So each polyp is like a cell

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User

Subhadip De

It gives me a lot of knowledge for my zoology honours 1st yr

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User

Bollywood Movies

I wish the best diver ever i have seen would send me a replie on my comment

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Ham Spam

Watched video alright

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User

Shishpal Kash

Jassi gill

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User

Kapil Bhai

Nice

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User

अमित कुमार ऋषी कुमार

वैरी गुड।।

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User

ĎĚVÏŁ İŚ BÄĆĶ

Nice

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User

AEmi GAmer

wow nice

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User

Ranjan Kumar

Nice video

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User

Madhu Kumari

beautiful ocean i like this

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EJAZ AHMED

Why shark don't attacks u

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User

manohar singh

big fish are not attack on you??

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User

manohar singh

how to save yourself from big fishes

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User

mrmree

Dewd. Nice reef shots.

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Sylvester Chint

Great show!♥️

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User

neha sah

Wonderful Viedo ..i loved it😍😍😘😘

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User

BALMUKUND DUBE

I also know about sea..could you help me?

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User

Widget

Zooxanthelai

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User

Anwar Khan

amazing. helpful in study. I recommended my class fellows

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User

Yvonne Ross

Wow ! So beautiful and colourful coral reefs. Wanna bite it !! 😋

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User

Faruk Basha

Minister

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User

Samal Ahmed

I like these

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User

Ahmed Ali

I want to hindi version video and
I want you this job

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User

Tomy Sebastian

I like the way how you explained it

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User

AFRINA FIRNAZ

I like ur narration….its more interesting

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User

Suraj Verma

Thanks

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User

Kavita Gusain

Nice

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User

starry sky

Beautiful 👍

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User

YOUSRA ADLY

How beautiful if I mange to adjust these image on my painting to realistic It would be great and be able to make my dream come true and open my Art gallery by new years tome hopefully ,so beautiful .

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User

Vikas Verma

Save earth…..

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User

K. S. Karthi Keyan Karthi

Nice 😊

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User

Sheero Spanks

Thankyou for your great explanation. I have a Coral Reefs Ecology examination tomorrow. Btw, I'm a Marine Biology's student from Malaysia. This helps me so much, thank you!

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User

I am Tiffany

😍😍😍

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ARVIND KUMAR GUPTA

nice your channal sir
i subscribed you channal

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ARVIND KUMAR GUPTA

because i study zoology
subject..

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ranjodh Vlogs

Hello brother

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mooli100

Thank you so much for this video. It is very informative and very straight forward. I love it. I actually just recently binged watched a lot of your videos!!!

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Ram D

omg 7:40 cooking very danger

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pyronac1

nice video, but the way you pronounce zooxanthellae is annoying. there is no 'i' so stop pronouncing it so wrong. it is pronounced, zoo, zan, thel, la. look it up. or is that too much to ask before someone puts out a science type of video. you are teaching the masses how to say a word wrong. every time you pronounced it with an 'i' makes it so i cannot take you serious. which in turn, destroys the whole video for me. oh well, is a good video other then that.

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User

Alphonce Nyambi

Now more about the ocean

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Ds Saranya

I love coralreef and sea

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Harsha Hb

enlightening

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User

KHUKURANI SINGHA

nice

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Elaine B

My home!!! And you even mention me!!! Sharky xxx… There's another mutual relationship in the sea: polyps & zooxanthellae, working together to build a home for so many creatures from tiny anemone shrimp to big sharkies…

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User

Tink Tin

He is so cool

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User

Vivek Vivek

when sharks are attack you what you will do

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Ronnie Nagy

Corals Are Amazing Creatures, Their Like Underwater Cities So Other Creatures Could Live There, 😊

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Isabella Jayden

Porphyra Polysiphonia Gracilaria Gelidium Bactrospemum

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BinayakJungBahadurRana

Thanks Coral. Very cool.

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RAVI KUMAR

Wow!
O gentleman!
Your work is wonderful.

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Brent Ten

Excellent

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Ajit Patel

Gjb

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Rahul Kumar

Et

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User

সেই তুমি

Wow

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anjil azad

The more I learn about marine life the more I get amazed 😍😍

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MOUSUMI MONDAL

Wow unimaginable ! When to explore these exotic creatures under ocean? 💞

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Ryder McKinney

Hey parrot fish eat algea

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Sub 2 LazarBeam

Unfortunately?

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