Anyone who’s been keeping keeping and growing corals in a home aquarium would have no problem telling you what is a coral. But if you tried to explain to your grandma what corals are, well that’s quite another matter altogether.
Not a plant, but distinct from most other animals we are familiar with, we would be hard pressed to describe what corals within the span of an elevator ride. However, this video from the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation is actually the best explainer we’ve yet seen or heard which describes what corals really are.
Being photosynthetic and not a plant, colonial but not a coral, it can be quite difficult to tell someone what the beautifully colored life in your reef tank is. However the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation has done a killer job explaining the many different elements and natural history behaviors that make corals so unique.
Even if you think you know what a coral really is, the video does an excellent job of describing the mechanisms that drive coral growth and development. We all know that corals are colonial and photosynthetic but the processes which dictate the calcification of coral skeletons is much more challenging to wrap your head around.
Whether you know nothing about corals, or have been growing corals for decades, this video will simplify some of the complicated chemistry that corals leverage to actually lay down their aragonite skeletons. If you like this video then you should definitely peruse the entire Coral Reef Ecology Curriculum series of videos from the Living Oceans Foundation; the videos are short, to the point and incredibly informative.