Coral reefs are home to thousands of marine life, and they are essentially the living rounds wherein these creatures live, reproduce, and hunt for food. The Belize Barrier Reef and The Great Barrier Reef are two of the most popular sites for divers and enthusiasts because of their rich marine biodiversity and life that encompasses the entire area.
Although the coral reef is like a shelter to a quarter of our marine life, there are still people who don’t know some marine animals living in these reefs. If you want to know more about the amazing coral reef animals roaming around Earth’s waters, now’s your perfect chance as we will be listing down ten of them! Read further down below.
Amazing Coral Reef Animals
Coral reef animals can be counted up to thousands of species as almost all rely on these areas for food and shelter. However, we will list down only ten amazing coral reef animals to start with!
1. Green Sea Turtles
Green sea turtles, commonly known as the Gardeners of the Coral Reefs, are first on the list when talking about some of the most amazing animals living in coral reefs. They have become an integral part of almost all coral reef systems because they manage and nurtured to help stabilize and further enhance the living condition of the reef system. In particular, the Hawksbill turtle cutting sponges that halt the growth of corals and source of food for other marine life.
If we’re going to talk about animals living in coral reefs, another popular fish that comes to mind is the clownfish. These colorful fishes thrive mainly off of the coral reefs that serve as their shelter and food source.
Coral reefs and clownfish have a symbiotic relationship in which the stings of anemones help fend off predators of clownfish. At the same time, their waste provides food for anemones in return. The species of clownfish are often found in coral reef systems in the Indian and Pacific oceans.
3. Manta Rays
Although they are mainly found in the open water, manta rays have a unique relationship with coral reef systems. Manta rays venture into the coral reefs for a good cleaning of their body. When manta rays visit coral reefs, small fishes congregate within the area of their presence and starts to clean their body as some of these are the vital food source for various organisms.
4. Moon Jellyfish
Commonly found in warm tropical waters, the moon jellyfish is a translucent creature capable of emitting light. They serve an important role in keeping the balance as they primarily eat fish eggs, larvae, shrimps, and other small organisms in various reef systems. Unfortunately, due to their distinct appearance, they are often mistaken for white plastic bags in the ocean eaten by other marine life.
5. Moorish Idol
Popular for its distinct yellow and black posterior and white anterior, the Moorish Idol is another colorful fish thriving within the reef system. They are widely distributed in all coral reefs worldwide but are mainly found in subtropical waters. Moorish Idols are quite territorial and often attack other males entering their area.
6. Blue Tang
Another amazing coral reef animal in the ocean, the Blue Tang, is best known for being ‘Dory’ in the famous film Finding Nemo. They are surgeonfish widely distributed around the world but have an extensive population along the Caribbean sea.
What makes them amazing is how they can have a variety of colors ranging from deep blue down to dark violet. Blue tang fishes rely on coral reefs for their protection and to keep algae off of the coral reefs that can damage the reef.
7. Caribbean Reef Octopus
Although some marine animals thrive on coral reefs for food and shelter, the Caribbean reef octopus is built for it. Known as the Masters of Disguise, these species of octopus rely on mimicry to strike unwary prey roaming around the reef system.
However, they can only be found along the Belize Barrier and are highly elusive creatures. They are one of the most dangerous and ingenious predators living along with the coral reef systems.
If we’re talking about amazing coral reef animals, the lionfish should always be on the list. Their distinct appearance has made them one of the most distinguishable fishes along the reef. Their vibrant colors and sea- dragon-like appearance have proved to be masterful in its class when we talk about predatory. The spikes around their body are poisonous, and their colors can mimic the reef system, an ability that helps them get their prey easily.
9. Yellow Tang
Commonly found in subtropical waters of the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and Japan, Yellow Tang mainly thrive within the reef system and are best known for displaying their vibrant yellow body during daytime. The only part of their body that is not yellow is their spine located on their tail, which serves as a defense mechanism whenever predators are nearby. Their vibrant yellow colors turn to pale or somewhat dullish in color during nighttime. Still, these are remarkable creatures capable of showcasing their bold colors.
10. Sea Dragons
Don’t be fooled by the animosity surrounding their names, these creatures thrive in coral reef regions because of their inability to swim as most fishes do. They are a relative of seahorses that are also poor swimmers.
These creatures tend to latch on seaweeds and other reef organisms, making them unnoticeable when predators lurk nearby. Sea dragons are truly majestic in their way without needing to blend in with the coral reefs vibrant colors.
Wrapping Things Up
Isn’t it amazing how some of these fishes thrive on coral reefs to survive and provide shelter? This relationship simply tells us that we have to protect all coral reefs in the world for the stability of reef and marine systems that have a symbiotic relationship. If not for our reef systems, these species wouldn’t be thriving as they should. Let’s conserve and protect our coral reefs!
Join us here at ATOLEA Jewelry on our mission on helping preserve and protect the coral reefs and all the marine life. Every profit we made from your purchase on our unique Ocean-inspired jewelry, part of it goes to Ocean conservation charities.
Choose from our wide selections of elegant Sea-inspired jewelry now and start inspiring others to care for the Ocean more by wearing our beautiful creations!