Corals for UPSC IAS
  • Corals are invertebrate animals belonging to a large group of colourful animals called Cnidaria.
  • Each coral is called a polyp.
    • Polyps of reef-building corals contain microscopic algae called zooxanthellae, which exist with animals in a symbiotic relationship.
      • Coral polyps (animals) provide algae (plants) a home, and in exchange, the algae provide polyps with the food they generate through photosynthesis.
  • They form barriers to protect shorelines from waves and storms.
  • They are two types:
    • Hard corals – Primary reef-building corals, extract calcium carbonate from seawater to build hard, white coral exoskeletons.
    • Soft Corals – Flexible because they lack a solid skeleton.
  • Threats: Ocean acidification, unsustainable fishing (Blast fishing), nutrient run-offs, coral harvesting etc.
  • In India, Coral reefs are found in the Gulf of Kutch, the Gulf of Mannar, Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshadweep Islands and Malvan (Maharashtra).

Latest News about Corals

  • 20 April 2023:
    • Recently, a scientific expedition has discovered a previously unknown coral reef with abundant marine life off Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands.
  • 25 December 2022:
    • Scientists, who are working on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, have succeeded in testing a new method for freezing and storing coral larvae.


  1. The Hindu

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