Corals has a special relationship with a small algae called Zooplankton. NOAA says “The algae live within the coral polyps, using sunlight to make sugar for energy.” This allows for the Coral to have food and in return, the coral gives off CO2 that the Zooplankton uses to survive as well as a place to live. At night the polyps also extend so they can catch other algae that is floating around as well as some small fish. 

This begs the question of what is a polyp. Well, according to NOAA, almost all corals are colonial animals. This means that they are made up of hundreds and maybe even thousands of different animals called polyps. Every polyp has a stomach which opens up into a mouth. The mouth is then surrounded by a bunch of tentacles that are able to extend and retract. The tenticles function to get the particles of Zooplankton and small fish that are floating around through the ocean. They are also used for other things such as defense and clearing away stuff such as debris and other things that may happen to get on the organism.

In order for it to feed it stings creatures floating by with toxins that can help to capture its food. It is important to remember that it feeds at night, this makes it so the fish may have a harder time seeing threats. It basically stings the organism it wants to eat and then eats it. The algae in its skin can also make food through photosynthesis which lets it get sustenance during the day.

So, there are 2 ways that coral eat: one is that they eat small plankton and fish floating by, and the other is that the zooplankton in their bodies gives off the sustenance they need to survive.

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December 12, 2023 5:08 pm

Dear Luke,
Your post made me think about how there are so many different organisms in our world, living in different areas, and they all have their own way of surviving. Another thing is how they work not only to help themselves but also to help out the surrounding areas with its defensive skills and clearing away any extra stuff. Something that I wonder is are there any organisms that harm others rather than helping?

November 27, 2023 8:14 pm

Dear Luke,
Your post made me think about how exactly zooplanktons and coral ingest the food they give off to each other. Another thing that I thought more about is how much I don’t know about sea life. Something I wonder is what other living organisms rely on each other for food supply or to survive in general.

Sincerely,
Giuliani Morales

November 27, 2023 5:18 pm

Dear Luke, your post made me think how crazy it is that almost all living things are somehow able to consume food, it’s also cool to see how everything living on this earth has its job. something I wonder is are corals living?

Sincerely,
Juan

November 27, 2023 5:13 pm

Dear Luke,’
Your post made me think that most every living thing is able to eat. As for the coral it’s interesting how with its algae they are able to sting the creature they want to eat. Something I wonder is how much do they eat a day or night.

Sincerely,
Jenive

November 27, 2023 5:10 pm

Your post made me think about how much of the ocean we have not discovered yet. There are life forms that we have no idea how they have come to be and so many others that are undiscovered. Something I wonder about is how coral reproduces.

October 19, 2023 5:24 pm

I have read about coral and the way they get their food but I had no idea they could possess “hundreds and maybe even thousands of different animals called polyps.” I find this really interesting and found an article that highlights exactly where you can find these polyps and what they are intended for. https://coral.org/en/coral-reefs-101/coral-polyps/

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