16 Types of Corals In The World

Chances are good that you’ve at some point in your life admired the beauties of the world’s vibrant coral reefs, whether you’re an avid diver or simply a lover of the ocean. How much do you actually understand about coral, though? It turns out that coral is one of the most fascinating animals without brains in the world in addition to having a really cool appearance. There are thousands of different species of coral in the world, and each one contributes in a different way to the overall health of the ocean environment. This article is for you if you’ve ever wanted to learn more about coral. We’ll now expose you to the ten most amazing types of corals.

Types Of Corals

1. Open Brain Coral

The open brain coral is a variety of coral that is often used in home fish tanks. It has an odd-looking figure-eight shape and many beautiful hues. In fact, open-brain corals can mature into a variety of fluorescent colors as they age, which is why home reef aquarium hobbyists love them so much. These corals can be found in the Indo-Pacific oceans in a variety of different places, but they seem to prefer sandy and muddy seafloors. They like water that is less than 130 feet (40 meters) deep and are primarily found from New Caledonia to the Red Sea.

Open Brain Coral

Image Source: Wikimedia

2. Elkhorn Coral

Elkhorn coral, one of the Caribbean Sea’s types of corals most widely dispersed corals, comes first on our list. If you manage to dive near any elkhorn coral reefs, it’s certainly a wonder to behold as it can grow to be up to 12 feet (3.7 m) long and 6 feet (1.8 m) high. Elkhorn coral-like develop in massive clusters known as thickets, which are typically discovered in shallow waters. Owing to its size, it frequently offers a vital habitat for other marine species, such as the Caribbean Reef Octopus. The white band illness is just one of several reasons that have put the species in danger right now across its whole range.

Elkhorn Coral

Image Source: Wikimedia

3. Bubble Coral

Featuring a stunning bubble-like pattern, the bubble coral is an instantly recognizable coral that’s popular among reef aquarists. Due to the coral’s feeding schedule, its bubble-shaped tentacles can really expand and compress. From the Red Sea to the Line Islands, they are naturally present throughout the Indo-Pacific waters. It’s interesting to note that some dinoflagellates coexist with these corals in a symbiotic manner (single-cell eukaryotes). The ability of these tiny dinoflagellates to photosynthesize enables the bubble coral to obtain the majority of its nutritional requirements.

Also Read: 12 Different Types of Leaves With Pictures

Bubble Coral

Image Source: Wikimedia

4. Leaf Coral

The leaf coral is a kind of colonial stony coral that inhabits the shallow seas of the Indo-Pacific. It has a rough appearance. Aptly called, it typically takes the appearance of a thin, 3–10 millimeter-thick leaf. Although leaf corals are found all over the Indo-Pacific, very little is known about their overall population. The majority of leaf corals are found no deeper than 50 feet (15 meters) and like to grow on slopes. The IUCN has classified the leaf coral as fragile because it is thought that extensive bleaching could affect it.

Leaf Coral

Image Source: Wikimedia

5. Venus Sea Fan Coral

The Venus sea fan, one of the most well-known varieties of soft coral, frequently forms enormous fan-like structures that rise vertically from the ocean floor. It does not build a calcium carbonate shell since it is a soft coral. The Venus sea fan coral, on the other hand, can maintain its upright position in the current and grow to a height of roughly 6.6 feet (2 meters) with reasonable ease.

Although it is also particularly prevalent in the Bahamas, the Venus sea fan coral may be found all across the Caribbean. On their tentacles, they have a variety of coral polyps that can filter feed for plankton that floats through the current. However, a large portion of the Venus sea fan’s photosynthesized nourishment comes from the symbiotic relationship it has with dinoflagellates.

Also Read: 12 Spectacular Underwater Plants and Sea Creatures

Venus Sea Fan Coral

Image source: Wikimedia

6. Vase Coral

Vase coral, often known as Monti after its Latin name, is a very well-liked variety of coral among home aquarium hobbyists. It naturally exists in the Indo-Pacific region, particularly in the Red Sea. The top area of the reef, where the water is warmer, is where it chooses to live most of the time. Because it typically tolerates captivity relatively well, vase coral is a regular appearance in aquariums. Vase coral really has a symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae, which are single-celled dinoflagellates that carry out photosynthesis, despite having many polyps like all other corals.

Vase Coral

Image Source: Wikimedia

7. Sun Corals

The Caribbean is home to many different species of cup corals under the genus name “sun corals,” which is not one single species. Although they have been seen in areas as far north as the Florida Keys, they favor deep waters, especially those around shipwrecks. Sun corals are actually one of the simpler corals to care for in captivity because they don’t depend on photosynthetic microbes for their sustenance. They can consume surprisingly substantial food, such as mysis shrimp. Yet because their polyps only pop open at night, they need to be fed at night.

Sun corals are a species of coral that doesn’t need a lot of sunshine, despite their name. They are subaquatic creatures that live in caves and other dim areas. They consume zooplankton to obtain the energy they require and maintain their yellow to brilliant orange hue. They are also the only stony coral that has established permanent burrows in the Caribbean after entering the sea in the ballasts of ships leaving its original ocean, the Indo-Pacific.

Sun Corals

Image Source: Wikimedia

8. Organ Pipe Coral

Soft corals of the species organ pipe coral are widespread in the central and western Pacific. Surprisingly, organ pipe coral has a strong calcium carbonate skeleton despite being categorized as a soft coral. It is renowned for having lengthy polyps that frequently resemble organ pipes. A calcium carbonate skeleton is frequently left behind when organ pipe coral dies. When this skeleton is bright red, it attracts scuba divers’ attention in a special way.

Organ Pipe Coral

Image Source: Paul Mazumdar

9. Boulder Star Coral

This species of coral, which is more generally known as the boulder star coral, can be found throughout the western Atlantic, mainly in the Caribbean. It is one of the most common types of corals in its range and is widespread in the area down to a depth of around 260 feet (80 m). With dozens of individual polyps, the boulder star coral frequently forms tiny structures resembling boulders. They are frequently found in colonies that resemble piles of green or yellowish rocks, making it easier to identify them underwater. However, because of the consequences of climate change, the boulder star coral is officially categorized as endangered.

Boulder Star Coral

Image Source: Wikimedia

10. Clubbed Finger Coral

The Caribbean and some regions of western Africa are home to the clubbed finger coral, one of the lesser kinds of coral on our list. The clubbed finger coral, as you might have guessed from its name, has tiny lobes that resemble thick fingers. These lobes are typically white or blueish-grey in color, and they rarely measure wider than 1 inch (2.5 cm). A few clubbed finger types of corals have remarkably extended lifespans. It’s feasible for a person to live for many centuries, yet further research is being done to learn more about this species.

Clubbed Finger Coral

Image Source: Wikimedia

11. Sea whip

Sea Whip, which lives up to its name, is a group of soft coral that resembles “whips” and comes in a vibrant array of hues, including purple, yellow, red, and white. Because they don’t contain the calcium carbonate that hard corals have, they are referred to as soft corals. These sea whips have several polyps, which are cylindrical shapes with tentacles, on a single stem that make up the “whip.” Plankton, a food source, is brought in by these polyps. Around the world, shallow water is where you can find the sea whip, which grows to a height of around 3 feet.

Sea Whip

Image Source: Wikimedia

12. Deep Water Glowing Corals

Similar to the numerous luminous land plants and animals, shimmering corals make for some fantastic sights underwater. While scientists have long known why glowing corals in shallow water light up, the reason deep-water corals sparkle has only recently been made public, and it turns out to be for the exact opposite reason of shallow-water glowing corals.

Deepwater glowing corals increase their brightness to get as much sunlight as possible, but shallow-water glowing corals light up to protect themselves from too much sunlight. This is done so that the zooxanthellae, which are small algae, can use photosynthesis to produce nutrition for the corals.

Deep Water Glowing Corals

Image Source: Wikimedia

13. Acropora Coral

The kind of coral that flourishes on coral reefs is called Acropora coral also called purple coral. They are the kind of coral that divers first encounter. They are the rarest sea plants, ranging in hue from the deepest purple to the palest lavender. These magnificent creatures are also reef-building species, which means that they support coral reefs and provide homes and habitats for a variety of other fish and marine life.

Acropora Coral

Image Source: James St. John

14. Purple Coral

This purple coral, which has a lilac-like appearance, is noteworthy not only for its vivid color but also because Acropora coral, one of the most common coral species, is also present. Additionally, it is quite advantageous because it offers a habitat for fish and other marine species. Since these corals are also reef-building species, they frequently arrive first at the site of a new reef and disperse to provide habitat for other corals.

Purple Coral

Image Source: Wikimedia

15. Soft Coral

This bouquet of vibrantly colored marine life is composed of feathery soft corals. Members of the Octocorallia subclass, which gets its name from their “eightfold radial symmetry,” or eight tiny sections that branch off of each main tube to give them the downy appearance, include soft coral. Soft coral, which varies widely in size and shape, may flourish in both deep and shallow tropical glasses of water.

Soft Coral

Image Source: sarah faulwetter

16. Staghorn coral

Staghorn coral is one of the fastest-growing corals in the world and the branches can grow up to 8 in a year. These corals are also abundant, however, there are various studies that suggest the population has declined by over 80% since the year 1980’s. These types of corals are named because their branches look like antlers.  They are very important in the Caribbean and played a central role in the formation of the reefs over the last 5,000 years.  Staghorn corals are actually animals though they look like plants or rocks and are made up of tiny animals named polyps.

Staghorn coral

Image Source: Wikimedia

This is the list of different types of corals in the world. Kindly share and do post your comments.

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