Brain coral is perhaps some of the most interesting coral in the sea because it truly does look like a brain. Brain coral got its name because they are shaped somewhat like a sphere and then they have grooves on the surface that look much like the folds of the human brain.
Many people believe that all brain coral is alike, but this is not true. There is more than one species of brain coral in the sea. In fact, there are two different families, but all of them work together to build brain coral reefs.
Brain coral is found in warm water coral reefs in oceans all around the world, but brain coral is found most heavily in the Red Sea throughout the Indo-Pacific all the way to Southern Japan. The species is a part of the phylum Cnidaria and class Anthozoa, also known as sea flowers. Brain coral is significant because it can live for as long as 200 years and brain coral are also known to be one of the strongest coral species in the ocean. Brain coral is known to be able to preserve itself during strong storms that destroy much of the coral around them.
Brain coral feeds on the algae that grow in the folds of their surface and brain coral will also feed on small animals such as brine and other drifting species that can get caught up in their folds. The brain coral actually uses its tentacles to catch food during the daytime hours and then at night brain coral protects itself with the same tentacles. Brain coral really is very self sufficient!
Growth Of Colonies On The Reef
Brain coral colonies are known to be taller than six feet high and they are usually brown or greenish brown in color. Where you find brain coral you will likely find stag horn coral, which is the main competition for brain coral. The problem with stag horn coral is that it grows much more rapidly than brain coral and will take over the territory quite quickly. Of course, stag horn coral is much more delicate than brain coral so often times brain coral will beat out other variants of coral based on their strength alone.
Brain coral is in danger of being extinct. Of course, brain coral and all coral reefs are in danger all around the world. The reason for this is that silt will wash off of the land and into the water and will smother the brain coral. The more towns and cities that are built the more pollution that is in the water, and the more critical the status of brain coral becomes. Brain coral is beautiful to look at and an important part of any coral reef and the ecosystem of the world’s oceans. All varieties of coral including brain coral should be consciously preserved to maintain the integrity of our oceans waters.