Coral Reef Animals

Coral Reef Animals
Coral reef animals are the ones that inhabit coral reefs. Read ahead to know more about these animals, and their lives.

Coral reefs play an important role in marine biology. They are the natural habitat for a large number of coral reef animals and plants, that form an inherent part of our ecosystem. Coral reefs are found in the deepest portions of the seas and oceans. Let us read about some coral reef facts that revolve around coral reef plants and animals. Read on...

What are Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are formed in the depths of large saline water bodies, that is, seas and oceans. But, how are coral reefs formed? They are formed by the deposition of calcium carbonate in water. The importance of coral reefs is such, that, even though there are not many nutrients present in and around them, they still are the source of food and nutrition for many aquatic flora and fauna, especially coral reef animals and plants.

Coral Reef Animals List

Coral reef information, has been widely studied and explored. One facet of these is the coral reef animals. Given below are names of some of the species that inhabit the coral reefs. Have a read...


As the name suggests, crustaceans are those form of marine animals, that have a crust for their body. These animals have a thick exoskeleton. This exoskeleton is molted by them as they grow. This means, that they shed their initial crust, and develop a new one as they grow and mature. The members of the crustaceans family which reside in the coral reefs are,

Mollusks are part of the invertebrates phylum. Most of them are marine animals, and comprise about 15-18% of the marine biology, as far as animals are concerned. They have a cavity in their body which facilitates breathing and excretion. The animals which fall under this category are,
Cephalopods: Squid, Octopus, Nautilus, Cuttlefish, etc.
Sea Anemones

Sea anemones are predaceous animals that inhabit the coral reefs. They survive on small fish and other small marine animals. They have a circular disc, which serves as the oral opening. This opening is surrounded by tentacles, and at the bottom of the body, is a foot like structure, which has an adherent substance, which facilitates it to move around, stop and eat. They are most commonly seen with clownfish. The clownfish act as a protection from other sea predators, who try to eat the sea anemones.

Hard and Soft Corals

Corals, are the major component of the coral reef. But that's quite obvious, isn't it? The coral that inhabit coral reefs can be classified into soft corals, and hard corals. Soft corals, do not form a reef construction. Hard corals, on the other hand, due to the deposition of limestone, are characterized by the formation of the reef structure at the base of the ocean.

Soft Corals Hard Corals
Sea Fingers
Sea Whips
Red Mushroom Coral
Elkhorn Coral
Brain Coral
Tubastrea Cup Coral

Other Coral Reef Animals

Other coral reef animals that are seen in the vicinity of large and small reefs are mentioned below. They depend on the corals for their food, nutrients and often times, for their shelter too. Given below is a list of other coral reef animals. Here are some examples of other coral reef animals.

Sea Urchins
Sea Snakes
Sea Birds
Sea Worms
Coral reef animals adaptations include the thick exoskeleton, symbiosis with other creatures (like the sea anemones and the clownfish), tentacles to grab hard to reach food particles, stinging, etc. The threats to coral reefs are growing day by day, due to pollution, global warming, etc. Care must be taken to preserve this important component of our ecosystem.

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