Talk:Coral

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Good article Coral has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.

Resources[edit]

Links[edit]

Some useful resources, particularly on the anatomy and life cycle of corals:

Images[edit]

There are already many images on this page, but for the future here are a few I have found or added. The Commons has many images of coral, as do the many pages in other languages.

commons:Category:Anthozoa |→ Spaully°τ 23:33, 30 March 2006 (GMT)

Removed text[edit]

Geological history[edit]

And like modern corals their fossil ancestors built reefs beneath the ancient seas. Some of these reefs now lie as great structures in the midst of sedimentary rocks. Such reefs can be found in the rocks of many parts of the world including those of the Ordovician period of Vermont, the Silurian period of the Michigan Basin and in many parts of Europe, the Devonian period of Canada and the Ardennes in Belgium, and the Cretaceous period of South America and Denmark. Reefs from both the Silurian and Carboniferous periods have been recorded as far north as Siberia, and as far south as Australia.

Comments[edit]

No mention of slowest growth on earth[edit]

Came looking for details on growth rates which I know take among longest on earth, found nil. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 63.224.221.149 (talk) 21:11, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

Water temperature[edit]

I changed the phrase "Coral will also die if the water temperature changes by more than a degree or two and becomes too hot or too cold" because I felt it was misleading. It made it sound like if the current ocean temperature was 25C, then the coral would die if the temperature changed to 24C or 26C. This is not accurate since ocean temperature varies from summer to winter by as much as 5 degrees in the tropics where coral exist. What the statement should convey is that if the normal temperature range is between 20-25C, and if the ocean temperature rises to 26C or drops to 19C for a sustained period of time, then the coral will die. --Uw badgers 17:19, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

No need to explain improvements, and clearly you know about that of which you speak - Marshman 18:12, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Just a word of warning - corals thrive at the upper limits of their temperature threshold and the limits for thermal bleaching varies significantly depending on the species and geographical location. Frequently corals thrive in 28C waters and only bleach when this threshold is exceeded by a degree. The severity and impact of bleaching is strongly dependant on both temperature and duration of the event, with additional factors such as UV penetration (cloud cover) and tidal regime.

- Acropora 09:40, 01 Nov 2005 (UTC)

It's also worth mentioning that according to adaptive bleaching hypothesis a change in water temperature leading to bleaching doesn't have to mean corals 'die' anyway. They may (or, admittedly, may not) bleach for the purpose of aquiring zooxanthellae that is more suited to the new temperature. Mwinskill 13:06, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Geological history[edit]

Added ==Geological history== text from an article I originally wrote in 1998 and published on the Web.

Dlloyd 20:29, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Portions of this text are :

"Copyright © 1995-1997 The Fossil Company Ltd. © 1997-1999 The British Fossil Company Inc. and licensed by the owner under the terms of the Wikipedia copyright." Please contact me if you need further clarification on this.

Dlloyd 00:45, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Symbionts[edit]

Are the symbiotic algae interstitial or intracellular? What kind of algae are they? — Pekinensis 00:53, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

You can find answers at Zooxanthella. --Menchi 01:35, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Corals not a taxon[edit]

I do not agree with your reasoning. "Coral(s)" is a common name, but common names are associated with specific taxa, and common name article titles that refer to a specific genus or even a species are used throughout Wikipedia. These common names are not really "taxa" either. The purpose of a taxobox (I think) is to provide taxonomic information down to the level that is reflected in the article. Thus, "fishes" has a taxobox showing how fishes are related to other vertebrates. I am reinstating, but welcome you and others to comment. - Marshman 18:11, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

Too quick?[edit]

I may have reverted your bad sentence before you had a chance to correct it. Sorry 8^) - Marshman 04:03, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Animals?[edit]

Why the hech are corals considered animals? --71.241.159.88 12:22, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Because they clearly are animals. Up close, they look like miniature sea anemones. Hermatypic corals do harbor algae, but these are symbionts living within the coral tussue - Marshman 18:33, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

I do not disagree in the fact that they're animals, because I'm not an expert in the subject and there seems to be an overwhelming consense about that. However, I'm just asking, do they have a nervous system or any other way or mechanism that could make them feel pain? Because if they're not animals, they're probably the closest an animal will ever be to a plant. Well... I guess. Alejandro Alatorre Vargaslugo (talk) 18:27, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

A nervous system isn't what makes an organism an animal. I would imagine that they do have a limited nervous system similar to that of jellyfish, since they are both cnidarians. With that being said, the ability to feel pain isn't exclusive to having a nervous system. It's still not a consensus as to whether or not fish can feel pain. The part that makes them an animal is the necessity to consume other organisms (heterotrophy) for energy. Plants can "make" their own food (autotrophy), animals must consume other plants or animals to get theirs. That, and their development, e.g. having a larval stage, are what make them animals. Their larvae can move, plants cannot. I think I've made it clear, if not just post again here and I'll answer your questions. Esoxidt 19:01, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Corals and Anthozoa[edit]

Having read through the article carefully and looked at the old Anthozoa page I think this article should more clearly define which organisms it describes, perhaps splitting them into 'soft corals' and 'stony corals' as opposed to a purely phylogenetic grouping. To preserve the phylogenetic information I will reinstate the Anthozoa article with some modifications, to fully remove information about anemonies from this article. That's my rationale for my edits, feel free to comment or change it. |→ Spaully°τ 23:33, 30 March 2006 (GMT)

Add Smithsonian Education link?[edit]

Hello! I am a writer for the Smithsonian's Center for Education, which publishes Smithsonian in Your Classroom, a magazine for teachers. An online version of an issue titled "Contrasts in Blue: Life on the Caribbean Coral Reef and the Rocky Coast of Maine" is available for free at this address:

http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/educators/lesson_plans/contrast/cover.html

It includes a background essay and lesson plans. If you think the audience would find this valuable, I wish to invite you to include it as an external link. We would be most grateful.

Thank you so much for your attention.

Coral Cuts[edit]

Found in Environmental effects on coral

"They are so sensitive to their environment that, for example, if someone was to cut themselves on a coral cut it would be of a high risk of infection. This is because the coral will plant itself within the wound and act as a sort of parasite, growing in the cut. It will appear as a rash at first and is highly dangerous."

It is not clear how bearing the ability to cause an infection "equals sensitive to their environment" or is an environmental effect on coral. Perhaps it would be better to create a separate section regarding human and coral interaction and safety? --Bookofchange 00:39, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Good article nomination[edit]

Hi there. This is an excellent article with very good illustrations. Some small things to tidy up though, before the nomination goes through.

General comments

  • The intro is a little too technical for the "general reader" we are told to aim for. I had a go at simplifying this but this isn't my field.
  • Not really enough references. No refs at all in Geological history or Uses and they are a bit sparse elsewhere.

Specific comments

  • Lophelia, do not have associated algae, and can live in much deeper water, with recent finds as deep as 3000 m. Needs a reference since it is a direct reference to sombody's publication.
Done. Tug201 05:05, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
  • The copyright tag for the Nematocyst figure has expired.
I imported this from the Ukranian WP, there the licensing has been clarified, so have copied it to here also. |→ Spaully°τ 11:10, 5 April 2007 (GMT)
  • The coral life cycles figure would display better as a SVG image.
I created this a while ago, and don't know anything about creating SVGs, if anyone wants to convert it then please do (and have a go at the Nematocyst one too if you can). |→ Spaully°τ 11:10, 5 April 2007 (GMT)
  • "What we see as a coral is a head of many individual, yet genetically identical, polyps." This seems a clunky sentence. Would "assembly" be a good substitute for "head"?
Changed to "assemblage" Tug201 09:52, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
Changed back to head, this is the correct term for a coral - a head of coral. |→ Spaully°τ 11:10, 5 April 2007 (GMT)
  • "Calciferous" is used before it is defined.
Calciferous simply refers to anything that of, forming, or containing calcium or calcium carbonate. I see no need for a definition in this article. Tug201 05:05, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Now linked also. |→ Spaully°τ 09:44, 10 April 2007 (GMT)
  • Try to avoid using "this" or "these" when multiple things are being discussed, it can be unclear what "this" is to your reader.
I think this has been dealt with in the lead, if that is the main area of concern. |→ Spaully°τ 09:44, 10 April 2007 (GMT)
  • division forms two polyps as large as the original Doesn't binary division forms two offspring each half as large as the parent?
It is a slow process and, as in the image, the resultant polyps are both full size. I have changed the sentence to be clearer on this. |→ Spaully°τ 11:10, 5 April 2007 (GMT)
  • They are so sensitive to their environment that, for example, if someone was to cut themselves on a coral cut it would be of a high risk of infection. I don't understand this sentence.
This sentence no longer appears to be present. Tug201 07:13, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Overall excellent. I learnt a lot from this. TimVickers 01:03, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Since none of these points were addressed, the nomination failed. I encourage you to deal with these relatively minor points and re-submit. TimVickers 03:54, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the comments Tim, I had worked on this a while ago but not got it to a state of completion. Hopefully I'll be able to spend some time getting it to good status. |→ Spaully°τ 11:10, 5 April 2007 (GMT)
i think that this is a good website for finding information but sumtimes there is not enough information or the information is not what you are looking for. I have found this on many occasions. I think that this website needs to gathe more information to suit the needs of all people.
The information on coral is very good but i think that it needs more information on appearence and physical features than it has already. I believe that this will make the article better and that it will be more informative to readers. Overall very well presented and the pictures were good.
Bold textThis is a disgraceful display of useful information. I AM DISGUSTED WITH THE WAY THAT YOU WROTE WITHOUGHT USING DESCRIPTIVE WORDS AND PHRASES. OVERALL I WAS NOT AT ALL PLEASED WITH ANY OF THE ARTICLE.
GOOD INFO —Preceding unsigned comment added by 58.7.175.63 (talkcontribs) 08:29, 26 November, 2006 (UTC)

name[edit]

Where did the actual word "coral" come from? A greek god maybe? Some scientific shorthand name? It would be cool if this info was near the top of this webpage JayKeaton 00:07, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

As coral is so old, it's a simple case of Greek + Latin --> French --> English. Unfortunately nothing exotic. |→ Spaully°τ 16:11, 5 April 2007 (GMT)

myth about coral cuts[edit]

Should there really be a section on this? Couldn't you jut add it somewhere else instead of having a really specific topic talking about something small? I think it should be add3ed to another topic or have more myths about coral.The SOAD Fan 00:23, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. I've hacked it out. I've put it below just for the record. --Plumbago 08:59, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Myth about coral cuts
There is a widespread myth that coral debris in a wound will continue to grow. This is not true; the temperature and other conditions in a human body will very quickly kill the delicate coral polyps. The myth may stem from tiny chunks of coral in a wound taking a long time to be expelled, giving the impression that they grew there.
Bacterial infection, however, from sea water is a serious danger of coral wounds; therefore, such wounds should be thoroughly cleaned, as described by this page from the University of Hawaii.
I appreciate the advise but its a little late to clean out my wound any further. Regardless of whether I did or not, 14 months later after completely healing and scaring over it started itching and became infected again. I am doubtful it is growing but it definitely took on a life of its own. Yes, it would be nice to see a separate article on this.
I'll toss my two cents in here. Corals have naturally occurring bacteria associated with their SML (surface mucopolysaccharide layers), which are distinct to each species. I don't know what sort of effect this has on the human body, but my guess would be that any infection would arise from the bacteria on the SML of the coral rather than from bacteria in ocean water. The bacteria can include proteobacteria (α, β, γ, δ), bacteroidetes, cyanobacteria, as well as other various bacteria. Some human pathogens are included in γ-proteobacteria: salmonella (typhoid fever), vibrio (cholera), E. coli. I don't know of any studies showing if any coral associated bacteria is harmful to humans though, so don't quote me on this.Esoxidt 15:06, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

GA status: on hold[edit]

This article, although close, doesn't quite make the Good Article status. There are a few, mainly minor, things that I feel could be improved.

  • Lead - the introductory section (before the ToC) is very long! I interpret the '3-4 paragraphs' mentioned in the guidelines to be less substantial than this.
  • List of genera - I would remove this list or provide it as a supplementary table. It is not likely to be of interest (or mean anything!) to the passing reader without a scientific background.
  • Timline width: On my monitor, the timeline with fossil ranges (which is an excellent addition, I must add!) protrudes past the edge and messes up the format of the whole page. Could it be split in two, perhaps at the end of the Permian? I wonder if there's a way to split it as required by resizing wondows - perhaps two Timelines placed side to side could be made to behave in a suitable fashion?
  • Conciseness - there are several places in which the article goes into slightly too much detail or incorporates less-that-relevant snippets of trivia. For example, the lengthy list of fossil reef localities is unneccessary. The section on environmental effects could also be trimmed substantially.

Hence I've provided the status 'on hold' until these issues are addressed.

Verisimilus 14:11, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your time and comments, I have tried to address them all:
  • The lead is now shorter and I think better organised, take a look but it certainly abides by MOS now.
  • Good point on the genera. I have removed it to Anthozoa and written a short paragraph of information with a link to that as a main page.
  • The way the timeline code works makes it quite difficult to split it into two. I have made it considerably less wide, so it should now work for 800x600. I don't think there is any easy way to make it only split for smaller window sizes, another option is to lose the last 100my or so, but I'd prefer not to do that if possible.
  • The fossil reef list is mostly gone with a few kept for illustrative purposes. I have shortened the last 3 sections a little and reorganised them somewhat. I don't want to lose much more info from the environmental section, though at some point it could be substantially expanded and split out.
Let me know what you think, I hope this has addressed your points. |→ Spaully 17:11, 10 April 2007 (GMT)


As noted on your talk page, this is a great improvement, but I'd like to encourage more tidying to the style. Also, note that the taxobox needs updating - either the orders should be included here, or the reference to their inclusion in the text should be removed. Keep up the good work! Verisimilus 18:29, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Okay, I think we're about there with the lead now. I hope you agree with my removal of the Scleractinian-specific information - I feel this is too much of a deviation for so early in the article.

Another point I've been reluctant to mention is the use of images on both sides of the text, as prohibited in the style manual. I'm scratching my head in so far as what to do about this, but it is causing nasty things to happen to the layout in my browser so needs addressing!

If I get the chance, I'll have a look at the rest of the article in the morning; hopefully some more keen editors will also come forwards over the next couple of days - the more fresh eyes the better, I suppose!

Verisimilus 22:09, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

I returned part of the sentence about secreted skeleton which I think is essential in some form, but yes, most of it was superfluous.
On the images, are you referring to 'sandwiching' text? I have tried to avoid this but we might have to remove an image, though most of them are demonstrating a point. Which ones are causing problems for you? The MOS encourages staggering them left and right however.
Getting ever closer! |→ Spaully 23:16, 10 April 2007 (GMT)
Yes - there's still some sandwiching in the Anatomy section, but it only really 'turns nasty' when the ToC is hidden and the taxobox starts shifting things around. The 'edit section links' (in Firefox at highish resolution, in any case) go into unexpected locations... Again, however, a huge improvement from before!Verisimilus 08:40, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done. I have moved the image to lower in the anatomy section, works fine now for me with TOC minimised or normal and with a range of widths. |→ Spaully 09:54, 15 April 2007 (GMT)

Images Yes check.svg Done[edit]

I'm a little concerned about the copyright status of Image:Nematocyst-discharge process.png. It does look like it's been swiped from a text book, and the artist surely counts as the 'original author'. Unless my strong doubts can be quashed, I'm afraid it would have to count as a 'non free image without a fair use rationale', and have to be replaced before GA could be granted. Verisimilus 08:57, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately I don't know of the original source, if it was drawn by a WPian or scanned etc. I transferred it across from the Ukranian WP where it has that particular free use tag. What do you reckon? |→ Spaully 09:09, 11 April 2007 (GMT)
Its absence from the Hebrew FA, where the Anatomy image has been copied and edited, makes me suspicious. I'd be much happier if it were reproduced, or if you could miraculously learn Russian and track down the original poster to confirm its originality... Ultimately I'm no expert on Copyright stati, so I'll see if I can find anyone else to cast an opinion. Verisimilus 10:00, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
I have created and uploaded a version modified from the public domain. In my opinion not quite as nice as the original but perhaps with more information. |→ Spaully 17:25, 11 April 2007 (GMT)

GA - Pass![edit]

Congratulations to all editors who have helped sculpt this article into one meeting the good article criteria!

There is still scope for improving the article, mainly in terms of copyediting, abridging and changing writing style - however, this is no longer enough of an issue to deny Good Article status. Well done! | Verisimilus 20:02, 16 April 2007 (UTC)smile

Thanks Verisimilus, you've done more than you needed to! I have seen less attentive peer reviews. I hope you retain an interest in the article. |→ Spaully 22:12, 16 April 2007 (GMT)

Removed vandalism[edit]

I doubt anybody has a problem with the following removal. Corals are alot like dog food, squishy soft and eaten by dogs

Mikey01 04:51, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Cold Water corals[edit]

There doesn't appear to be a section on deep, cold water corals at present which I'd like to see. They appear to be shown on the distribution map but in the description it states that they are found in shallow, warm water. If nobody who specialises in this field is interested in doing it, I may give it a go in a few weeks. Mwinskill 13:11, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

MORE SPECIES PAGES[edit]

Wikipedia definetly needs more articles about each different species of coral. The only page I found was on brain coral and that article is just a stub... If anyone can suggest a good site for coral reseach please do. --Pokekid456789 15:27, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

blank spot near the top of the page[edit]

It would be nice to get rid of that large gap in between the intro paragraph and the table of contents. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tennis 52 (talkcontribs) 01:39, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Pharmaceutical Uses[edit]

Somebody should add pharmaceutical uses of coral to main article. For example: http://library.thinkquest.org/C0125204/importance/medical.htm —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.184.59.134 (talk) 18:45, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Reproduction???[edit]

An image of a graph explaining their reproduction is useless without a text explaining the meaning and action according to the role of each participant in reprouction. Its a nice organigram, but it lacks explanation... SOMEONE DO SOMETHING!!! (I would myself if I knew how it works, from the image I can only presume, not really know)Undead Herle King (talk) 12:04, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure why you inverted and deleted parts of this page, but in the future please just post at the bottom of the discussion without deleting and/or moving things around, unless that was some sort of bug. I undid your post and moved it down here since I couldn't figure out what you managed to do. And, I'll try and add some explanation of the different life cycles of coral. Esoxidt 14:46, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
My original had been deleted by a vandal some time ago but missed when reverting. I have reinstated it with Esoxid's new parts integrated somewhat. It could take some rewriting to integrate it a bit better so if anyone has some time please take a look. |→ Spaully 18:21, 21 May 2008 (GMT)

Fossil Record Timeline[edit]

Ms2ger, I think including the coding in the text makes the article fairly daunting to edit for someone not wanting to delve too deeply into wiki coding. There was an 'edit' option on the timeline box which I think is sufficient if anyone wants to change it. I have added a little more explanation under the timeline as that was a little sparse before. I also respectfully disagree that that was a minor edit, certainly the largest one I've seen kb wise! Thanks, |→ Spaully 22:14, 7 July 2008 (GMT)


Coral Reef distribution map[edit]

The image "Coral reef locations.jpg" does not show the distribution of coral reefs as such. It illustrates available Landsat scenes of areas that may or may not contain coral reefs. Each red square corresponds to an available Landsat scene, not to a coral reef; it is thus quite misleading (even though it is broadly accurate). It also shows Borneo as being entirely covered by coral reefs. It also has many reefs marked in deep, coldwater locations where there has been little study of species that might inhabit such locations. It's not a good choice of map. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.145.135.78 (talk) 23:53, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

I think you are right about that. I went to the source of the picture and followed it further down the rabbit hole until I got to the Institute for Marine Remote Sensing at USF with a project using the NASA data. This map here, from a brief look, seems to map the number of reefs. I'm not sure if the image is freely available or not, but I'm assuming it is since the project is most likely publicly funded. Anyone else know if the picture is usable? Esoxidt 06:01, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Did you see the little © IMaRS at the bottom of the picture, seems to me to be copyrighted. But please refer to their declairation. Enlil Ninlil (talk) 08:06, 15 November 2008 (UTC)


Hydrozoan Are Corals?[edit]

The Hydrozoan species Millepora boschmai is cited as having been a victim of the 1997-1998 warming cycle but, from the Wikipedia entry on Hydrozoans, it appears these are not corals at all. I wonder if the reference to Hydrozoans should be removed from this page. Aussiesta (talk) 02:02, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

One year later, this issue remains uncontested, so I shall proceed to remove the reference to the Millepora boschmai. Aussiesta (talk) 05:43, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
I'd agree with your removal of it. Corals, hard and soft, are Anthozoans. Hydrozoans are related, but so are Scyphozoans, and neither are corals.Esoxidt 15:46, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

"Major contributors" to reefs?[edit]

The article say, "These corals can be major contributors to the physical structure of the coral reefs that develop in tropical and subtropical waters, ..." I thought they were the only contributors. 140.147.236.194 (talk) 20:52, 14 August 2009 (UTC) Stephen Kosciesza

Well it depends on the type of reef. If you follow Darwin's theory of atoll formation, that can be one contribution to physical structure, but as for the skeletal "rock," yes corals are major contributors to that.Esoxidt 15:53, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Communication?[edit]

"Corals coordinate behavior by communicating with each other.[4]"

Okay, I know it's got a ref to a paper, but really, the above sentence could do with some further information! 87.244.90.235 (talk) 19:26, 13 July 2010 (UTC)


Coral reefs provide many medical benefits for humans... This paragraph needs some sort of verification124.101.138.242 (talk) 01:28, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

The article says: "Initially believed to be a plant, William Herschel used a microscope to establish in the 18th Century that Coral had the characteristic thin cell membranes of an animal." I was not aware the William Herschel was ever thought to be a plant. 140.147.236.194 (talk) 15:23, 5 October 2010 (UTC)Stephen Kosciesza

Unreferenced section[edit]

The Evolutionary history section requires some additional citations. This is needed for the article to keep its GA status. Hoping someone familliar with the article can fix the issue. AIRcorn (talk) 18:25, 29 October 2012 (UTC)