The world of the coral reef is one of the most diverse ecosystems on our planet. The number of life forms in this environment rivals even that of the tropical rain forest. Some of the oldest reefs today began growing over 25 million years ago. Diving on a coral reef is like entering another world. One of beauty and new discoveries. But it is also an extremely fragile environment, and it is in very real danger of disappearing forever.
Here's a few photos of some interesting corals, which are often mistaken for plants, when in fact, they are actually animals.
The Pineapple Coral feeds at night by extending their delicate, translucent tentacles.
The Sea Whip is a coral species that grows in clusters throughout the tropical reefs of the Caribbean and the West Indies.
The Bubble Coral expands it's bubbles during the day to collect light.
The Flowerpot Coral is a beautiful coral species that is common throughout the Indo-Pacific.
Brain Corals can grow into a large dome-shaped structure about 4 feet in diameter. It is a common species in the Caribbean from Florida to the Bahamas.