A coral reef is a rocky structure, found on an underwater platform, that has been formed by the skeletons of corals and other marine organisms.
Corals are made up of small beings known as polyps and, similar to anemones, they usually live in groups called ‘colonies’. Coral polyps are located at the bottom of the sea, at a depth where they can feed and photosynthesize.
Did you know that polyps secrete minerals that form external skeletons for their protection?
The accumulation of external skeletons, the sedimentation and the reproduction of the corals end up forming the reefs and they manage to become the habitat of many beings in the marine world.Corral reefs take thousands of years to grow and mature, therefore they are being damaged by human activity at a faster rate than they regenerate.
How are reefs formed?
The initial step for the formation of Coral reefs is to have enough sunlight and an ideal environment is flat tropical seas, with clear water and a temperature above 18 degrees Celsius.
a of plankton-tiny marine organisms-, its main source of energy is photosynthesis, which is carried out by zooxanthellae, algae that live in symbiosis with the animal and are responsible for the color of corals.
In terms of reproduction, corals multiply per shoot, until they form a colony, in a process that can take several years. At specific times of the year, in adult colonies, you are expelling eggs and sperm into the water to give rise to fertilization and give rise to new plants that will end up forming new polyps.
After thousands and thousands of years, the reef reaches maturity, and marine biodiversity concentrates to live around it. They are usually very sensitive and that is why it is so important to protect them and during snorkeling or diving tours not to touch them.
The most important coral reefs in the world
The highest concentration of coral reefs is in the Pacific Ocean, we speak of more than 40%, then there is Southeast Asia, with just over 32%; while the Indian Sea and the Red Sea account for almost 20%.
This Mesoamerican system is the largest coral reef in America and the second largest in the world, after the Great Barrier Reef located off the northeast coast of Australia. The Mesoamerican reef begins at the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula and ends near the Bay Islands in Honduras. It is estimated that these coral reefs are home to a great diversity of organisms, including 60 types of corals and half a thousand different ones. fish species.
So put on your gear, choose the tour that you like the most and jump into the water to enjoy this natural wonder!