20th July 2012
Coral reefs are most well-known for their vibrant colors and vast biodiversity. However, not many people know that corals owe their bright rainbow of colors to symbiotic, single-cell algae that live inside their tissues. Reef corals have mainly colorless polyps and white skeletons—it is the tiny zooxanthellae living in their cells that gives the corals their color. They also manufacture organic matter that the coral uses as food. If stressed by disease or high temperatures, corals expel their zooxanthellae, in a process called coral bleaching, and may die of starvation.

Coral reefs are most well-known for their vibrant colors and vast biodiversity. However, not many people know that corals owe their bright rainbow of colors to symbiotic, single-cell algae that live inside their tissues. Reef corals have mainly colorless polyps and white skeletons—it is the tiny zooxanthellae living in their cells that gives the corals their color. They also manufacture organic matter that the coral uses as food. If stressed by disease or high temperatures, corals expel their zooxanthellae, in a process called coral bleaching, and may die of starvation.


I am Ashley, an incredibly introverted environmental enthusiast.
I'm studying to be a marine biologist.
I have a fierce love for all living things, a very broad sense of humor, and I'm likely too passionate for my own good.
Herein you'll find animals (especially creepy-crawlies), nature, science, art, some of my own photography, and occasionally a scattering of personal posts.
I'm an avid reader and music-listener, so suggestions are always welcome (you can check out my last.fm if you're interested).
I source all of my own posts unless it's my content, in which case I tag it "personal."
But that tag is littered with a bunch of other, boring things as well, so peruse with caution.

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