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CLICK to enlarge.The Coral  

Coral (madrepores) are the reef's builders.  

Madrepores are tiny primitive animals living colonies and constituted of small size polyps inside a limestone skeleton. Madrepores contain cnidaires commonly called coral. Coral is made of thousands of   polyps, sort of sea anemonas, that capture plancton with their tentacles  

Coral is home to sea weeds in need of light. In symbiosis with sea weeds they are capable of building a massive limestone skeleton. It is with the accumulation of coral skeletons that a reef is formed. 

       Several sorts of coral and sea weeds develop:        

  • porites, forming coral heads, are found in calm waters (less than 2-meter deep)
  • pocillopora, looking like cauliiflowers where fishes go hide.
  • acropora, fragile weak-shaped coral.
  • montipora, coral forming a crust with nipples.
  • pololithon, red sea weed, as hard as a rock found on reef crests.
  • turbinaria, brown seaweed attached to the substrate.
  • caulerpa, green seaweed found in the sand or in the rocks.
  • halimeda, green bush-shaped seaweed. 

CLICK to enlarge.Found on the reef:   

fetu’e (a type of sea-urchin)

taramea (star fishes)

vana (black sea-urchins, known for their good taste)

rori (soft bodied sea slugs)

troca (sea shells sought for their mother of pearl)

tiger-porcelaines (in large quantity on the reef)

uao (gasteropodes)

térèbres

ma’oa (sea shells) 

spotted crabs (with red spots)

varo (with delicate flesh, found in holes)

pahua (large clams)

lobsters (on the ocean side of the reef) 

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