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Australian Wildlife

  Staghorn Coral (Acropora sp)





Staghorn Coral | Acropora sp photo
Staghorn coral, Heron Island

Image by ozwildlife - Some rights reserved.

Staghorn Coral | Acropora sp photo
Staghorn coral, Wilson Island. Note the butterfly fish in centre of picture. No fancy equipment is required for photos like these. A snorkel and basic waterproof camera are the essentials.

Image by ozwildlife - Some rights reserved.

Staghorn Coral | Acropora sp photo
Coral scene with Staghorn Coral and other corals. Photographed at Wilson Island - just a short boat trip from Heron Island, near the Tropic of Capricorn on the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. You do not have to snorkel far to see scenes like this on a Wilson Island holiday. The coral beach slopes steeply to deep clear water.

Image by ozwildlife - Some rights reserved.

Staghorn Coral | Acropora sp photo
Staghorn Coral and Bush Coral, Wilson Island. Within ten minutes of arriving on the island you can be exploring places like this

Image by ozwildlife - Some rights reserved.



STAGHORN CORAL FACTS

Description
Staghorn corals are one of the most important reef building corals. Hard corals build reefs by growing on the stony skeletons of previous coral colonies. The reef is made from the limestone cases made by coral polyps extracting calcium from seawater. The branching of the coral increases the surface area exposed to the sunlight that provides the organisms with the energy they need for healthy growth. Staghorn corals tend to be most abundant in shallow waters.

Habitat
Staghorn Coral is found in shallow water, ranging to depths of 30 m

Food
Staghorn coral gets most of its nutrients from a single-celled algae called zooxanthellae that grows with it on the reef. Corals can also catch plankton using stinging cells on their tentacles

Breeding
A head of coral grows by asexual reproduction of the individual polyps. Corals also breed sexually by spawning.



Classification
Class:Anthozoa
Order:Scleractinia
Family:Acroporidae
Genus:Acropora
Species:sp
Common Name:Staghorn Coral

Relatives in same Genus
  Plate Coral (A. unknown species)