- SEA LIFE, Tropical Reef
Coral Reefs are one of the most beautiful and important habitats on Earth!
They cover less than 1% of the ocean floor, yet over 25% (that's 1 quarter) of marine species depend on this habitat in some way for survival.
The Coral itself might look like rock or plant but it is actually a type of animal! From the same family as Jellyfish and Sea Anemones, Corals are made up of millions of individual polyps all growing on top of each other.
When Corals are stressed by pollution, temperature or acidity changes, they spit out the algae from their shells. This is known as Coral bleaching as it is the algae which give them colour and without it, they turn white. Coral cannot survive for long without this algae.
Scroll down to find out more about SEA LIFE Hunstanton's most colourful Reef inhabitants!
Meet one of the ocean's best known and loved fish! Did you know that Clownfish live in the venomous tentacles of Sea Anemones? They are one of the only ocean creatures that can do this as they are protected by a layer of slimy mucus on their skin!
Did you know?
All Clownfish are born boys!
Some will eventually turn into girls when they are older. If you see two Clownfish on a Sea Anemone, the larger of the two will be the female, the smaller the male.
Some are red, brown or even black! If you see a Clownfish couple in a Sea Anemone, the larger of the two will be the female, and the smaller the male.
Male Clownfish are very devoted parents
They look after the eggs, fanning them to keep them oxygenated. They will chase away fish much bigger than them and even square up to inquisitive scuba divers!
Clownfish like to live in Sea Anemones
So that they are protected from predators and can nibble on leftover food the Sea Anemone catches. In return, they help keep Sea Anemones and the area around them clean by eating up algae and other reef debris.
Blue Regal Tangs
"Dory" is actually a word used to describe loads of different species of fish. The Dory many will be familiar with from the Finding Dory film was actually a Blue Regal Tang.
These colourful animals are native to the Indo-Pacific, where they can be found living in pairs or small schools in the reefs.