stony coral

ecosystems coral reef

diverse underwater ecosystems held together by calcium carbonate structures secreted by corals. Coral reefs are built by colonies of tiny animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups. The polyps belong to a group of animals known as Cnidaria, which also includes sea anemones and jellyfish.

Grooved Brain Coral (Diploria labyrinthiformis)

..a species of Faviid stony coral which occurs in tropical areas in the west Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. Grooved brain corals typically inhabit offshore reefs at depths ranging from 1 to 30 meters. Like other corals grooved brain corals are suspension feeders and feed mainly on zooplankton an bacteria, which are captured by polyps which extrude mesenterial tentacles. Diploria labyrinthiformis also host zooxanthella which produce nutrients for the coral via photosynthesis. 


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Image: Janderk

The Crown-of-Thorns Sea Star, Acanthaster planci

“[…] is a large, multiple-armed starfish (or sea star) that usually preys upon hard, or stony, coral polyps (Scleractinia). The crown-of-thorns sea star receives its name from venomous thorn-like spines that cover its upper surface, resembling the Biblical crown of thorns. It is one of the largest sea stars in the world.


“Flower Pot Coral” (Genus: Goniopora)

Goniopora is a genus of colonial stony coral which occurs in lagoons and areas with turbid water conditions throughout the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and various tropical and subtropical areas of the Pacific Ocean. Like other colonial stony corals Goniopora spp. are carnivorous and will feed on passing invertebrates and organic matter which are caught by their stinging nematocysts. 



Images: Peter Young Gho, MD and Gdiggers

Ok but srsly tho

Your tank could never

You know what all that is? Thats a buch of goddamn live SPS or Small Polyp Stony corals. These shits are the most difficult to keep, and even more difficult to keep colorful. Most of these are in the genus Acropora, which are the most difficult of those sps fucks.

Son this fucking system is more technologically complex than my friggin hybrid car. We got this shit on an automatic dosing system that keeps all trace elements ay exact amounts constantly, we have pumps mimicking waves that communicate wirelessly to keep a constant back and forth current. Those lights? Timers. Everything is connected by a control system hooked up to an ipad that lets us turn on or off any component of the tank. The store owner can control it from his phone and if you dont think thats the tightest shit you better get the fuck out son


Leaf Plate Montipora (Montipora capricornis)

…also sometimes known as the Vase Coral or Cap Coral, the leaf plate coral is a species of small poly Acroporid stony coral which is common in the Indian and Pacific oceans, and in reefs in the Red Sea. Leaf Plate Montipora typically inhabit the top half of the reef where photosynthesis can occur as they rely partially on zooxanthellae for nourishment. 


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Image: Grendelkhan

“Mustard Hill Coral” (Porites asteroides)

Also known as the yellow porites, the mustard hill coral is a species of colonial stony coral from the family Poritidae, which occurs in shallow waters on reefs in the tropical west Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Like other coral colonies, the colonies of P. asteroides are carnivorous and will feed at night for various zooplankton and bacteria using their stinging nematocysts to dispatch them. 


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Image: unknown


Some fun facts about the newly designated Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument

• This monument is 4,913 square miles, nearly the size of Connecticut.
• It is 150 miles from the coast of Cape Cod.
• The area covers 1.5 percent of U.S. federal waters on the East Coast.
• Hundreds of species have been identified in the Atlantic canyons and seamounts, including stony corals, black corals, soft corals, sea pens, anemones, and sponges.
• The four underwater mountains (or “seamounts”), the only ones in U.S. Atlantic waters, rise as high as 7,000 feet above the ocean floor, higher than any mountain east of the Rockies.
• Over 600 species were identified on just one of the seamounts (Bear seamount).
• Recent research into the winter feeding grounds of Atlantic puffins in the Gulf of Maine found that they migrate to the waters above the canyons and seamounts.
• Whales and dolphins congregate at the continental shelf break above the canyons to feed on abundant prey in these nutrient-rich waters.

Blue Coral (Heliopora coerulea)

The only species in the family Helioporidae, Heliopora coreulea is an interesting species of Octocoral that is widely distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific. H. coerulea is unusual as it is the only species of Octocoral that is known to produce a “massive skeleton”, the skeleton that H. coerulea produces is formed of aragonite, the same substance stony corals build their skeletons out of. The polyps of blue coral live in tubes within the skeleton and are connected by a thin layer of tissue.

Currently Heliopora coerulea is listed as Vulnerable and likely faces threats from the same reasons many other coral reefs (and species) are threatened by.


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Image: Haplochromis