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Paleo Slide Set: Coral Paleoclimatology:Natural Record of Climate change for High School Student
Caribbean star coral(Montastraea annularis), Belize Barrier Reef (17N, 88W).
A reef is an environment where fish can avoid predators and rough waves in shallow water. Fish also benefit from the numerous food sources of the reef and the companionship of their same species. Some other organisms that live in the coral reefs are sponges and algae. Algae are microscopic plants that are eaten by small fish, snails and sea urchins (among other organisms). Sponges are sedentary animals that move water through their bodies and filter feed from that water. There is a great diversity of life within the coral ecosystem, more than in any other ecosystem on earth, except perhaps the tropical rain forest.

Photo Credits:
Jerry Wellington
Department of Biology, University of Houston
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Last Modified: 12 October 2001

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