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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.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
September 7, 2006 Good article nominee Not listed
April 16, 2007 Good article nominee Listed
Current status: Good article



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


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)

The gallery of photos at the bottom of the page is very sparse. There are only eight actual photographs of coral. There are many species and beautiful varieties of coral, and they are not properly represented by this minute selection of images. Guggenheimer.3 (talk) 17:44, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

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.


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 (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)


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)


Why the hech are corals considered animals? -- 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:

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)

Probably the meaning was "evolved to be so protective of their environment that ..." (talk) 07:16, 4 April 2016 (UTC) Sam - UK

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.
GOOD INFO —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 08:29, 26 November, 2006 (UTC)


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)
 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  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)Face-smile.svg

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)


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: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:45, 30 September 2007 (UTC)


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 (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. (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)


"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! (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. (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)


In the introduction we have: "Individual heads grow by asexual reproduction of polyps."

Later, in the section on sexual reproduction: "Corals predominantly reproduce sexually. About 25% of hermatypic corals (stony corals) form single sex (gonochoristic) colonies, while the rest are hermaphroditic."

Isn't that a bit of a contradiction?

It's a matter of growth (expanding a colony or coral head), versus reproducing (creating new separate individuals by releasing gametes). A coral colony will grow and expand by asexual means. I see how confusion may arise, since both terms have "reproduction" attached to them. Esoxidtalkcontribs 03:41, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Perforate Corals[edit]

The section on perforate corals is brief and confusing. It is only three sentences long and does not do a good job describing the hard solid skeletons in the imperforate corals and how that causes them to differ from perforate corals.

Guggenheimer.3 (talk) 17:48, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Evolutionary History[edit]

The coral article could really improve from having more content added to the evolutionary history section. This simply has few small paragraphs that briefly run through the fossil record of coral. Some things that could be added are images of fossils and causations for their adaptation and evolution.

Guggenheimer.3 (talk) 17:48, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

File:Coral Outcrop Flynn Reef.jpg to appear as POTD[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Coral Outcrop Flynn Reef.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on September 11, 2015. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2015-09-11. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. Thanks! — Chris Woodrich (talk) 00:10, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Picture of the day

Corals are marine invertebrates that typically live in compact colonies of many identical individual polyps. Each polyp is a sac-like animal typically only a few millimeters in diameter and a few centimeters in length. Corals are major contributors to the physical structure of the coral reefs such as the Great Barrier Reef, where this photograph was taken. Coral reefs are under threat globally from ocean acidification and climate change.

Photograph: Toby Hudson
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

Ohio State University - Class project, critique regarding climate change[edit]

This article is currently being reviewed by a number of students from Ohio State University as part of a course on Global Climate Change. @Profscoo: is the instructor for this course and @Ian (Wiki Ed): the content editor.

I have grouped the student responses into this section so responses can perhaps address them together given the common focus. |→ Spaully ~talk~  10:43, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

Coral Article Critique-Brady Harris, student from Ohio State[edit]

1)This article does a very good job at explaining exactly what Coral reefs are made up of as well as how they reproduce, survive, and function within their respective environment. In the article, titled Coral, there are several sections where the editors get into the taxonomy, eating and reproduction habits, as well as corals natural habitat. When it comes to explaining how coral and coral reefs are used to explain past climates, the article is very thorough in covering the different approaches, but could be more specific about the impacts the world is currently experiencing today. When dealing with data analyses, this article does a very good job of addressing different scientific methods for analyzing how a coral reef relates to past climates, such as geochemistry, oxygen isotope anomalies [1], and sea surface temperature and salinity [2]. One area the article lacks in data analyses is addressing how climate change is increasing ocean acidification due to increased levels of carbon dioxide [3]. Overall, the assumptions made by this article are fairly accurate. One specific assumption under the Geochemistry header, basically states that climate modeling can get an assist from geochemistry analysis [4]. Climate models can indeed be made more accurate by understanding past climates with help of geochemistry [5]. This article, however, does not address the strengths and weaknesses of the proxy method. It only goes as far as to say that the methods may help with piecing together specifics of past climates, but never gets into specifics about real time and past data [6].

2)I found two peer reviewed articles that dealt with coral reefs as a proxy. The first was titled Redefining thermal regimes to design reserves for coral reefs in the face of climate change and was authored by Iliana Chollett, Susana Enríquez, and Peter J Mumby. This peer reviewed article was not one of the sources cited on the page, but offers some valuable information of how to combat climate changes negative impact on the coral reefs [7]. The second peer reviewed article I found was Exploring errors in paleoclimate proxy reconstructions using Monte Carlo simulations: paleotemperature from mollusk and coral geochemistry authored by M. Carré, J. P. Sachs, J. M. Wallace, and C. Favier. This article used similar geochemistry methods that were described in Coral, but went into much greater detail about the process [8]. This source was also not cited in under the sources in Coral.

3)In the future, this article could be improved upon in few ways. First, it could go into much greater detail about how changes in the coral reefs and coral patterns show changes in climate, specifically addressing ocean acidification due to increased levels of carbon dioxide. Secondly, the references were overall very credible, but more could be included that point to specific coral reefs and/or coral that are being used as a proxy to give a more clear picture as to how they are being used as a proxy. Bradycat130 (talk) 17:40, 20 February 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Coral". Wikipedia. 2017-02-12
  2. ^ "Coral". Wikipedia. 2017-02-12
  3. ^ Administration, US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric. "How does climate change affect coral reefs?". Retrieved 2017-02-12.
  4. ^ "Coral". Wikipedia. 2017-02-12
  5. ^ Stute, Martin; Clement, Amy; Lohmann, Gerrit (2001-09-11). "Global climate models: Past, present, and future". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 98 (19): 10529–10530. doi:10.1073/pnas.191366098. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC PMC58498Freely accessible Check |pmc= value (help). PMID 11553803.
  6. ^ "Coral". Wikipedia. 2017-02-12
  7. ^ Chollett, Iliana; Enríquez, Susana; Mumby, Peter J. "Redefining thermal regimes to design reserves for coral reefs in the face of climate change.". PLoS ONE. 9 (10). ISSN 1932-6203.
  8. ^ Carré, M.; Sachs, J. P.; Wallace, J. M.; Favier, C. (2012-03-01). "Exploring errors in paleoclimate proxy reconstructions using Monte Carlo simulations: paleotemperature from mollusk and coral geochemistry". Climate of the Past. 8 (2). ISSN 1814-9324

Climate research section critique[edit]

While this article does do well with giving a broad overview of the current research on the effects climate change has on corals it gives no description or direct reference to what a proxy is, only someone with previous knowledge as to the definition of a proxy would be able to make the connection that corals are in fact being used as a proxy. To improve this a simple sentence in the first paragraph describing a proxy, and stating that coral is one within climate research, would help people understand. Secondly, simply adding in a diagram or picture of how the growth rings in coral worth similarly to the rings in a tree would add a visual element to possibly describe how this works better. This does cover the idea of checking the data recovered from the proxy (in this case coral) with data from other sources in order to ensure the data is accurate and reliable. The idea that this proxy has a huge strength because it is very useful to get data about the earths atmosphere from before data was being recorded by humans is also touched on. Not many weaknesses of the proxy method are touched on, but if the word itself was to be introduced as recommended it could be linked to the separate proxy article which would go more in depth about the strengths and weaknesses of the overall method. The peer reviewed articles used as references within this article are very accurate and have a lot of very good information in regards to what this article is about however all of them are over 10 years old.Lots of new research has since come out with lots of opportunity for new things to be added to this article. For example I found an article published in 2011 titled Projecting Coral Reef Futures Under Global Warming and Ocean Acidification . This article describes in detail what coral shows the previous climate patterns to be and how the coral is being directly effected by global warming and what we expect to see if current rates continue. [1] A second article I found titled Improved Water Quality Can Ameliorate Effects of Climate Change in Corals and is from 2009. This article is not used in this Wikipedia page but discusses the optimal water conditions for coral that allow them to flourish and the current water conditions that are causing them to die. It also describes how by locally managing the water conditions we could perhaps preserve the coral far better then we currently are. [2] CatherineKailua (talk) 21:24, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

This article shows a couple different proxies used in determining climate change through corals, showing that there are many different ways to go about retrieving information about climate through sea life. However, I noticed that there aren't any actual figures or statistics to prove this statement. Showing some data from coral reefs would allow the reader to really see how much this change in our climate is effecting everything. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Syd speak (talkcontribs) 17:38, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

This article shows a couple different proxies that we can gather from corals to study climate change which is great; the more information to prove the point the better. However, I noticed that there wasn't any real data or statistics about these corals. Showing some information from the rings in the corals as well as statistics from the fossilized microatolls would make these statements better. I also would like to add that tying in other forms of science, such as anthropology, really makes the information more clear and believable.

All of this information is up to date and is relevant to the proxy based on the two articles I read, which are also cited in this article. [3] and [4]

Suggestions I would make for this article: 1) provide more data as opposed to broad statements (i.e. coral rings and fossils) 2) try to incorporate more up to date information from more current sources

[5] Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page). because this article discusses coral's adaptability to the changing ocean. It goes further and shows how they use El Nino data from the worst El Nino years to see how the coral is seeking refuge in deeper portions of the ocean. Another helpful source could be [6] as the page page briefly touches on species of coral and talks a little bit more about a different type of coral called zooxanthellae. This article could help give a little more insight on how biodiversity has changed and can be monitored. Ardenholden (talk) 01:55, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

Coral and Climate[edit]

(1) This article touches on the use of coal as a proxy by stating that there are rings used to look at incremental dating. This article doesn't do a good job as stating how far back the rings can proxy or what the rings tell us. The article also doesn't give any assumptions. It states that the salinity of the ocean is rising because of coral bleaching, but it leaves out any assumptions about the environment in the past compared to now using rings. The article does not describe the strengths and weaknesses of coral as a proxy. It covers how bleaching and adaptations are working currently but there is no speak of the past climate or how ring contribute to the climate proxy.

(2)NOAA 2009 [7] is used to demonstrate the ocean acidification but it is in the section about coral rings and it does not add any importance to the meat of the section. Also, the other article in that section you have to sign in and be a member of a website to read. This is not advantageous to the average reader.

-Wet and cold climate conditions recorded by coral geochemical proxies during the beginning of the first millennium CE in the northern South China Sea[8] -- Not in the wikipedia article

-A “core-top” screen for trace element proxies of environmental conditions and growth rates in the calcite skeletons of bamboo corals[9] -- Not in the wikipedia article

(3) -Add more information about how the coral rings tell a year by year story of the climate and water properties.

   - Add a photo of the coral rings, and their similarity/differences to tree rings to give an accurate comparison.

Cstarn2017 (talk) 02:52, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

Editing for Geography OSU[edit]

I'm a student at The Ohio State University and I'm critiquing this article for a class project.

The proxies that I read about in this article show how the coral growth rings show the environmental changes that the corals undergo [10]. It's a great source for geologists to see a yearly change in the corals. I feel that this is strong proxy method due to the heavy yearly analyzing the geologists do. In one of my Earth Science courses at OSU we get to see fossilized coral and it't amazing to see how coral has changed through the different time periods. Current coral and coral from the late permian period have astounding differences. The article also states how microatolls can be dated using radiocarbon dating.

"Fossilized microatolls can also be dated using Radiocarbon dating. Such methods can help to reconstruct Holocene sea levels.[66]", this was referenced from a reliable source that is up to date and found at the bottom in references. Another proxy found "Though coral have large sexually-reproducing populations, their evolution can be slowed by abundant asexual reproduction.[68] Gene flow is variable among coral species.[68]". This article is shown in the references too and is relevant data.

I think this is a great article with a wide variety of pictures, but I do feel more pictures of fossilized corals could be a great addition. Many people are visual learners and seeing a variety of corals throughout time could be beneficial to the reader. Overall, this was a very informative article that gave me knew information about coral life.SS.12 (talk) 03:55, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

Climate Section Review - OSU Student[edit]

This article clearly explains the use of coral as a proxy in understanding past climate. In regards to data analysis of coral, the article elaborates on geochemistry; strontium/calcium ratio; oxygen isotopes; and sea surface temperature and salinity. Upon further analysis of the coral (specifically its crystalline structures), each of the above attributes provides data that contributes to climate models. Continuing, the article does not directly mention any assumptions made in using coral as a proxy. However, it does comment on the complexity of coral longevity, reproduction, and evolution. This is an indirect assumption that the coral have stayed in their approximate location. The article discusses how staghorn and elkhorn coral shifted their locations. Therefore, when utilizing the coral for climate modeling an indirect assumption is that the coral specimen have always lived in that particular area. Lastly, the strengths of coral proxies mentioned includes the detailed, large amount of the information they can potentially display about climate and their “stable foundations” for geochemical interpretations of particular living species, such as Porites. A strength the article did not mention was that coral chemistry can indicate heavy rains and floods (NASA 4). Some weaknesses mentioned include their small population and high sensitivity. However, the article does not discuss their limited location (not available worldwide), nor does it discuss potential outside influences such as symbiotic relationships (algae)(NASA 4).

(n.d.). Retrieved February 22, 2017, from

This article list numerous references with centralized focus on climate. Of the peer-reviewed articles that distinctly state climate as the main topic, the oldest peer-reviewed article listed is from 1989 and the most recent is from 2009. A majority of the others are between 1999 and 2005. That said, the one from 2009 is not horribly out of date. However, the others are. There is an article about climate change, coral bleaching, and the future of coral reefs from 1999. This article is approximately eighteen years old, and with all of the developments in ocean research; coral research; and climate change the source is no longer in its prime. Overall, more current sources would allow for an updated perspective and integration of new ideas/concepts. Two article I found through EBSCOhost that are definitely not included and are related/current include:

Chen, X., Deng, W., Zhu, H., Zhang, Z., Wei, G., & McCulloch, M. T. (2016). Assessment of coral δ44/40Ca as a paleoclimate proxy in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. Chemical Geology, 43571-78. doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2016.04.024

Xiao, H., Deng, W., Chen, X., Wei, G., Zeng, T., & Zhao, J. (2017). Wet and cold climate conditions recorded by coral geochemical proxies during the beginning of the first millennium CE in the northern South China Sea. Journal Of Asian Earth Sciences, 13525-34. doi:10.1016/j.jseaes.2016.12.012

I would suggest an update of the references used regarding climate discussion and incorporation of more detailed information regarding what coral tells us about climate.

ZacharyFranciscoOSU (talk) 04:54, 23 February 2017 (UTC) Edited by (talk · contribs · WHOIS) 20:32, 25 February 2017 (UTC)

General Relay of Information in Article[edit]

My fellow classmates make great points about the use of corals as a tool for proxy data. I would recommend the expansion and rephrasing of some pieces of information -- for example, "which are colonies whose top is dead and mostly above the water line, but whose perimeter is mostly submerged and alive" seems clunky and not easily understandable. I would change this phrase to, "which are colonies of coral that is mostly submerged in the water, but whose top is dead and extend above the water line."

As for sources, all sources I checked were alive and unbiased. Some sources were from sources that were arguably not peer edited. An additional sources could be ""Climate Close-Up: Coral Reefs." NASA. NASA, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2017." This source has excellent pictures (that were otherwise lacking from the current article). AlisaKae (talk) 21:49, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Climate Research Critique[edit]

1. When talking about coral in the climate research section it talks all about components of a proxy without directly stating it. This is a very broad way of stating the information about coral and how it grows to show characteristics as one of the climate proxies. With this in mind it still states the process that the coral will go through to produce this climate record. The section also touches on radiocarbon dating but doesn't include more specific dates or the amount of time coral can go back to show an earlier climate. Aside from the proxies problem above, this section assumes a simple understanding of the material and goes enough in depth to show the meaning of most of the material within. 2. An article that wasn't on cited on the Wikipedia page but informs about coral reef proxies is titled Environmental Records from Great Barrier Reef Corals: Inshore vs. Offshore drivers.[11] This article basis is to show the ability of corals to show what environmental factors impact how they grown and what their structures consist of after these factors. Another article not referred to is titled Low Generation of Lesions produced by coring in Orbicella faveolata.[12] This article states the problem of taking proxy samples in certain types of coral that can have a lasting impact on how the coral regenerates where the proxy sample was taken from. 3. A way to better the climate research section is to talk about a wide variety of corals that would be detectors of proxies instead of only the one that is stated. Another type of info that could be added is the amount or range that the coral can date back to. The section doesn't do a good job of stating whether this proxy is a short-term or long-term record of how the ocean was and what the composition of the ocean was at that time. Jordan1327 (talk) 05:18, 23 February 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^ Pandolfi, John M., et al. “Projecting Coral Reef Futures Under Global Warming and Ocean Acidification.” Science, vol. 333, no. 6041, 2011, pp. 418–422.,
  2. ^ Wooldridge, Scott A., and Terence J. Done. “Improved Water Quality Can Ameliorate Effects of Climate Change on Corals.” Ecological Applications, vol. 19, no. 6, 2009, pp. 1492–1499.,
  3. ^ "Poor Performance of Corals Transplanted onto Substrates of Short Durability"
  4. ^ "Deep sea corals collected by the Lamont Geological Observatory"
  5. ^ Ferse, Sebastian C.A. [Ferse, Sebastian C.A. "Poor Performance of Corals Transplanted onto Substrates of Short Durability"] Check |url= value (help). Wiley Online Journal. Restoration Ecology. Retrieved 22 February 2017. 
  6. ^ Richards, Zoe (2013). "A comparison of proxy performance in coral biodiversity monitoring". Coral Reefs. 32 (1): 287–292. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Xiao H, Deng W, Chen X, Wei G, Zeng T, Zhao J. Wet and cold climate conditions recorded by coral geochemical proxies during the beginning of the first millennium CE in the northern South China Sea. Journal Of Asian Earth Sciences [serial online]. March 2017;135:25-34. Available from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 22, 2017.
  9. ^ Thresher R, Fallon S, Townsend A. A “core-top” screen for trace element proxies of environmental conditions and growth rates in the calcite skeletons of bamboo corals (Isididae). Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta [serial online]. November 15, 2016;193:75-99. Available from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 22, 2017
  10. ^ climate research [64]
  11. ^ Walther, Benjamin; Malcolm T.McCulloch. "Environmental Records from Great Barrier Reef Corals: Inshore vs. Offshore drivers". Retrieved 23 February 2017.  More than one of |author1= and |last1= specified (help)
  12. ^ Rodriguez-Martinez, Rosa; Jordán-Dahlgren E. "Low Generation of Lesions produced by coring in Orbicella faveolata". PubMed. Retrieved 23 February 2017.  More than one of |author1= and |last1= specified (help)

Proxy Critique[edit]

Throughout the entire section of Coral (climate) there is no use of the term “proxy” or even “paleoclimatology”. Instead, the article discusses the changes coral has been forced to undergo due to climate fluctuation over time. Proxies are “preserved physical characteristics of the environment that can stand in for direct measurements” <>. Since the atmospheric measures of temperature and CO2 do not go back very far, these physical characteristics give scientists an extension of records that help then analyze the past climate changes, giving them crucial insight into today’s problem. None of this is made clear. We are given several ways coral adjusts to its environment, but there is little application. This article would be strengthened by having a variety of people creating it and editing it. Where it is now, it looks like a biological scientist wrote it or even a chemical scientist, without consulting their atmospheric science buddy. Integration will be key in strengthening the information already given.

The data provided is correctly cited and referenced, but it is very limited. This area would benefit from graphs of diagrams that show the change of certain quantifiable characteristics over time. The article assumes that we already know the purpose of the information provided, but without my current climate change class, I would not have concluded that coral is a proxy for studying climate change. The definition of proxy needs to be stated “preserved physical characteristics of the environment that can stand in for direct measurements.” When talking about proxies, it is important to note the level of certainty. Although scientists are working to improve their precision, it is unlikely that proxies will ever be as precise. This is important to note, to ensure that you are summarizing all sides of an argument. Another topic that would be relevant would be the ocean’s important responsibility of being the sink of human-released carbon. This is essential to understand why coral is changing and has changed in the past.

All of the sources listed are legitimate sources, with relevant and current (mostly) research which I applaud this article for. However, I was able to find three more sources that were not listed that could be very beneficial for Wikipedia users. I specifically like the last source due to its focus on one area through a case study. This gives us a very tangible example of the relationship between coral and climate over time. It even gives us some graphs, specifically figures 3 and 4, that could be helpful for visual learners such as myself.

Mumby, Peter J, Ian A. Elliott, C M. Eakin, William Skirving, Claire B. Paris, Helen J. Edwards, Susana Enríquez, Roberto Iglesias-Prieto, Laurent M. Cherubin, and Jamie R. Stevens. "Reserve Design for Uncertain Responses of Coral Reefs to Climate Change." Ecology Letters. 14.2 (2011): 132-140. Print. DONNER, SIMON D, WILLIAM J. SKIRVING, CHRISTOPHER M. LITTLE, MICHAEL OPPENHEIMER, and OVE HOEGH-GULDBERG. "Global Assessment of Coral Bleaching and Required Rates of Adaptation Under Climate Change." Global Change Biology. 11.12 (2005): 2251-2265. Print. Wang, Xin, DongXiao Wang, RongZhen Gao, and DongHuai Sun. "Anthropogenic Climate Change Revealed by Coral Gray Values in the South China Sea." Chinese Science Bulletin. 55.13 (2010): 1304-1310. Print.Kas dalton (talk) 11:58, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

Article Critique[edit]

The article does not specifically state a proxy that it uses, however a potential proxy is the way scientists use the rings which form the coral. The article discusses each layer of rings that are formed every year that helps create the coral and helps to show ocean acidification in the environment. Just like we discussed how scientists used tree rings to find their age or ice cores to determine what was in the atmosphere during that time period. The coral layers are used to determine the acidification in the ocean. While I think the proxy they use is reliable and easy to comprehend, I do believe they could go a bit more in depth about the subject, or what other things they can determine from focusing on the coral layers. The article also discusses the Coral’s niche, or where it lives, and how the warmer temperatures have been affecting the populations in that specific niche. The increase in temperature has been favorable to slower-growing corals while other corals are being bleached and dying. The peer-reviewed articles seem to contain accurate and current information. A few other sources I found, which can help contribute to the article are Jokiel, Paul L., Christopher P. Jury, and Ilsa B. Kuffner. "Coral Calcification and Ocean Acidification." Coral Reefs of the World Coral Reefs at the Crossroads (2016): 7-45. Web. and Wooldridge, Scott A. "Differential thermal bleaching susceptibilities amongst coral taxa: re-posing the role of the host." Coral Reefs 33.1 (2013): 15-27. Web. I think a visual to help show the different layers of coral would be interesting and help the reader get a better understanding by what the author means by the layers. This article is a bit easier to understand than other scientific article I’ve seen on Wikipedia however there are still a few things people who are not familiar with the topic may find confusing. Perhaps the article could delve a bit deeper and explain what a zooxanthellae is, I have no idea what that is! Wilkinson.244 (talk) 04:02, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

OSU Article Critique[edit]

This article does well at explaining the proxy method. It talks about how taking data from the coral communities can help reconstruct the levels during the Holocene. It also talks about how the increased temperature in the sea has caused coral reefs to be bleached and die. The strength of this proxy method is that it shows how global climate change and the increase in temperatures are impacting the coral reefs.

There isn’t much in this article, but it is an interesting topic, so potentially, making a new separate article just dedicated to coral climate research.Introducing what climate proxies are in this article could be helpful for better understanding the importance of coral reefs with climate proxy research, adding a link to a climate proxy could be helpful too.

2 peer-reviewed sources: Anthony, Kenneth R. N., Jeffrey A. Maynard, Guillermo Diaz-Pulido, Peter J. Mumby, Paul A. Marshall, Long Cao, and Ove Hoegh-Guldberg. "Ocean acidification and warming will lower coral reef resilience." Global Change Biology 17.5 (2011): 1798-808. Web.

Crabbe, M. James C. "Climate Change, Global Warming and Coral Reefs: Modelling the Effects of Temperature." Computational Biology and Chemistry 32.5 (2008): 311-14. Web.

Hoytnina (talk) 20:02, 26 February 2017 (UTC)hoytnina

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