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Anything about marine biology - Essay Example

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This is due to the fact that these reef forms were actually ancient animals which evolved over the last millions of years. Corals belong to the class of anthozoans in the…
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Anything about marine biology

Download file to see previous pages... nt manmade and natural calamities have caused serious damage to the coral reef structures and as a result many reef formations have been lost over the years. Hence environmentalists and especially those in the field of marine biology are relentlessly trying to put an end to the destruction of coral reefs (Weir, 2001; Shah, 2010; Skoloff, 2010 Skoloff, 2010).
All corals have a simple basic structure which is referred to as a polyp that consists of three layers of tissue: an outer epidermis, an inner cell layer surrounding the gastrovascular cavity and a middle layer of mesoglea. The gastrovascular cavity opens only at one end which facilitates food intake by the organism and also waste products are expelled through the same. Corals also possess tentacles which project as extensions of the body wall in the regions surrounding the mouth which mainly help to capture and ingest food as well as a source of defense when needed. In addition to this the presence of a unique type of cell called the cnidocyte that includes organelles such as nematocysts secrete lethal toxins which are helpful in prey capture. Additionally most corals contain a symbiotic alga, zooxanthellea, within their gastrodermal cells and both the algae and the coral share a mutually beneficial relationship by supplying resources required for photosynthesis, organic products of photosynthesis and facilitating waste removal. This mutual exchange is vital for coral productivity as well as limestone-secreting capacity of the coral reefs using the photosynthetic produce of the algae. In addition, the presence of the algae is responsible for the color of the polyp and if the algae are expelled by the corals, which may occur during periods of prolonged stress, the coral reefs become while in color, a process which is referred to as coral bleaching. Using the photosynthetic products released by the algae the corals produce calcium carbonate. Of the 6000 known species of anthozoans, stony corals make up the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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