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Adaptation of Two Organisms that Live in the Great Barrier Reef

Identify the structure and function of the main organs in two organisms that live in the Great Barrier Reef, and indicate why are they suited for that environment.

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The two organisms chosen are hard corals and fish.

1) Hard Corals:

Corals belong to phylum Cnidaria. Corals can exist as individual polyps, or in colonies and communities that contain hundreds to hundreds of thousands of polyps. Corals can be of two types: hard coral and soft coral. Hard corals (also known as stony coral), produce a rigid skeleton made up of calcium carbonate in crystal form called aragonite. Billions of these tiny skeletons make a massive reef. Soft corals do not produce a rigid calcium carbonate skeleton and do not form reefs.

There are different species of hard corals like bottlebrush coral, bubble coral, brain coral, mushroom coral, staghorn coral, tabletop coral and needle coral. Reef-building corals are colonial and grow into distinctive shapes formed when many individual polyps growing together. The colonies of hard corals grow in various shapes and sizes. New coral colonies grow on top of the limestone skeletons of their predecessors. Over time, this is what that creates the three-dimensional architecture of a coral reef.

Each coral consists of the Coral polyp which is the living animal and Corallite, a hard calcium carbonate shell that protects the Coral polyp. Corals do not move as they are attached to a hard stratum, and this shell provides protection from predators. The polyps continually lay down new layers of calcium carbonate over the skeleton beneath them so that it grows upward and outward. The actual living tissue is only a thin layer on the surface; the skeleton constitutes nearly all of the bulk of the colony and forms the framework of the reef.
Coral polyp is essentially a sack with a stomach and a mouth. Each polyp is radially symmetrical. It has a tube-like body with a mouth at the top. ...

Solution Summary

The solution elaborates on how the coral and fish are adapted for life in the Great Barrier Reef. 1111 words with references.

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