Do corals know their real estate better than humans?
For sure us corals know our real estate. We are very focused on finding just the right spot to build strong communities for our future. The development and growth of coral reefs is legendary.
We are urban dwellers
Just in case you haven’t noticed, we are very much about our “community”. Very few of us corals like to live on our own. We are all about family values. It is safe to say that our number one belief is that we all do better as a family group, so almost all of us prefer to live in coral cities which you might know them as reefs.
Location is everything to us as we only get one chance to pick our home
We have trained our offspring to be some of the most careful real estate developers you can imagine. After all, we only get one chance to pick where we will live our lives. Once we choose our spot, we are literally stuck!
Corals top 5 tips on how to pick winning real estate:
1. Location Geology and Geography
Like all smart city builders we need to start on a solid base. If we do not have the right situation to make a good foundation, what is the point? Therefore, we look for solid stable bottom. Sand is not our friend. In fact, a lot of that nice white beach sand is coming from us, after our bodies go in one end of a parrot fish and come out the other. So, sand and broken rubble from previous coral cities can literally bury the rest of us. Runoff is also not good for us; thus, we are not big fans of river deltas that bring lots of silt that cover over us and our symbiont algae. The diagram below shows the kind of things we look out for when picking a site for one of our cities.
2. Good Water
Just like you humans, us corals need clear good quality water. Cloudy water slows down the production from our solar powered food supply and makes construction time very long. Our plant partners (zooxanthellae) need a lot of light to keep our food production going. If the water is too cloudy, not enough light gets to where we need it and our food supply is not enough to keep us all fed and we are forced out. Too many chemicals from cities or factories or too many nutrients from your sewers, farm fields, fish/shrimp ponds etc; and we cannot do well. The chemicals make us sick, and the nutrients give the gangster algae too much advantage, and we are pushed out of the neighborhood. Check out the diagram to see how our seagrass and mangrove neighbors can help us out.
3. Good Weather
Much like your snowbirds that run away from cold nasty weather to warm tropical places, we like the warmth. We need to be warm to build so you will not find us where there is very cold water. Lots of stormy weather and big waves are not our thing either. Who would want to spend years on building big beautiful tall housing structure to have it smashed over by nasty waves. But with that being said, we are pretty darn good at taking away the energy of all but the really large and strong waves.
4. Good Neighborhoods need good neighbors
Just like your land-based cities, our cities in the sea do better with good neighbors. No loud party platforms making noise and dragging their anchors through our town. No boat anchors knocking our building over with their heavy chains. No hotels that send untrained guests who walk on top of us and break our multi-year construction projects down into rubble.
5. Diversity of Culture is very important
Like any strong urban place, we know we need a diversity of different types of corals as well as different types of fish for us to thrive. If we make just one type of coral building, we cannot be a very durable city and we would not create an attractive environment for all of the other marine life citizens that our city needs to do well. If you would like to check out our history, we have managed to create healthy homes for 25% of the fish species in our oceans. How is that for market share? And oh, by the way, we have been doing this for a few million years. That’s a track record you can bank on! Our coral cities house fish that graze on taller growing algae. We have fish which browse around finding hidden-away algae. There are fish that excavate areas which need a deep clean and renovations. We also have house scrapers that lend a hand to areas that just need some serious cleaning up. We haven’t even talked about the many types of invertebrates that we provide homes for so that they can help keep things running smoothly. If you would like to see how many different types of residents we house in our cities, take a look below:
Literally, listen up for the hottest tip for developers. Look for a busy place and listen for good music. Fish love to make sounds and when they are in a prosperous area; they make chips, squeaks, clicks grunts that form a symphony of sounds. Our babies know to swim toward these sounds when they are looking for a safe home. So, us corals follow the fish sounds to look for good locations. Fish like many of the same things that we do and are important co-developers in building and maintaining our coral cities. Even those smart scientists are talking about it. Ctrl+ Click below: But don’t forget to watch out for our next Coral Chronicle coming out in the next couple of weeks when we tell you about the possibilities of working together with us corals and how you can give us a hand.
Underwater Movie Recommendation on Netflix
“Puff: Wonders of the Reef” movie follows a baby pufferfish who travels through a wondrous microworld full of fantastical creatures as he searches for a home on the Great Barrier Reef.
Click here if you’d like to watch it on Netflix.