Toddler Blog – Coral Reefs

24th April 2019

This morning we started to learn about the cool world of the coral reef! We practiced our animal sign language using our special song and then we discovered all about what coral is. It is part animal, part rock and part plant, so it’s three things in one! We all set off to explore our Great Barrier Reef exhibit to see if we could find corals shaped like fans, fingers, mushrooms and even brains! After playing some fun games in front of the tank we went back to the café and learnt about Pink Sea Fans, corals which we can find just outside the Aquarium in Plymouth Sound. Then we made our own fans out of paper plates and decorated them using finger painting. We all had a fintastic time learning all about coral reefs!

What are coral reefs?

Corals are part animal, part plant and part rock! The animal part is called a polyp and it looks like a tiny little wiggly anemone. Even if it wiggles as much as it can, the little polyp cannot get enough food to survive but luckily they have tiny little plants which live inside their heads. The plants make their food from the sun, share some with the polyp and make the coral lovely and colourful! To keep themselves safe the polyp builds itself a fortress of rock and when lots of corals grow together we call this a coral reef.

Who lives there?

Coral makes lots of lovely places for animals to live, just like buildings in a city! Coral reefs are some of the busiest places in the sea with over 25% of all marine fish living there. You can find sharks, turtles, pufferfish, eels, wrasse, groupers… all sorts!

How can we explore them?

We can explore coral reefs by visiting them on boats, diving or snorkelling, but we need to be very careful because coral is very delicate, and we could break it!

Next Week: We are learning all about the curious cleaner wrasse!

Toddler Tuesdays is limited to 15 spaces per session and tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis! Come along early to avoid disappointment.

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