Coral reefs are like the tropical rainforests of the sea. Flourishing in subtropical and tropical shallow marine environments around the world, coral reefs are home to many brightly colored species of fishes and invertebrates. The coral animal is actually quite tiny, but they form vast colonies made of calcium carbonate which make up the reef structures that other animals can live in.
They also require highly specific environmental conditions to thrive. Coral reefs are beautiful, yet fragile - and in our modern world with overfishing, ocean pollution, and global climate change, they face many challenges to their survival. Learn about the different coral reefs around the world and the threats they face in the articles below.