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How do corals eat? © Getty Images

How do corals eat?

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Coral reefs house at least 25 per cent of species on Earth despite covering only 0.2 per cent of the ocean floor.

Asked by: Mary Leonard, Chelmsford

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Corals are communal animals related to sea anemones and jellyfish. Like their cousins, they catch tiny animals (called zooplankton) using stinging tentacles that surround the single body opening that acts as both a mouth and anus.

Many corals also contain symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae. The zooxanthellae allow them to get some extra energy through photosynthesis.

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Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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