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Index of flora
Index of fauna
Kingdom Animale | Phylum Cnidaria (=Coelenterata) | Class Anthozoa
Hard Corals
Order Madreporaria

These are organisms whose compact calcareous exoskeletons build coral reefs. Many species occur on the reef edge, but the beachcomber is unlikely to encounter many of them except when the tides are very low.

Hard corals are distinguished by their calcium carbonate (chalk) skeletons, and symbiotic zooxanthellae (photosynthesising algae) living in their tissues which confer the characteristic colours of coral polyps (the actual animals). These algae are able to use sunlight and the carbon dioxide produced by their hosts (the coral) to produce sugars which are shared. They are hence vital to the coral's ability to produce its skeleton and helps explain why they are only common in clear, sunlit waters.
Photo by Tan Bee Hong

Photo by Tan Bee Hong

Photo by Tan Bee Hong

Photo by Tan Bee Hong
Photo by Tan Bee Hong

Photo by Tan Bee Hong

Photo by Tan Bee Hong

Photo by Tan Bee HongHerpolitha
Shore environment
From A Guide to Seashore Life by Dr Leo W H Tan and Peter K L Ng
Published by the Singapore Science Centre and sponsored by BP

@Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and Singapore Science Centre