A Coral Reef Food Chain: A Who-Eats-What Adventure in the by Rebecca Hogue Wojahn

By Rebecca Hogue Wojahn

Welcome to a Caribbean coral reef! As you snorkel simply offshore, you spot incredible fish, waving sea anemones, diving turtles - even perhaps a prowling barracuda! The coral reef is stuffed with lifestyles - from coral polyps snagging plankton to a moray eel gobbling up a goby fish. Day and evening at the coral reef, the search is directly to locate nutrition - and to prevent changing into somebody else's subsequent meal. All residing issues are attached to each other in a foodstuff chain, from animal to animal, animal to plant, and plant to animal. What direction will you are taking to stick to the foodstuff chain in the course of the coral reef? Will you . . . Tail a tiger shark because it sniffs out its subsequent sufferer? try out a stingray crushing clams? Watch a feathery fan computer virus capture bits of leftovers? keep on with all 3 chains and plenty of extra in this who-eats-what experience!

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Extra resources for A Coral Reef Food Chain: A Who-Eats-What Adventure in the Caribbean Sea

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As they grow up, some become adult females or adult males. ” Supermales are extra colorful and often lead a group of female fish. But, even stranger, not all grown-up males were born male. Sometimes a female will become male as she grows. . sponges tucked in the coral. To see what another sponge is up to, turn to page 36 . . a black sea urchin creeping along an organ pipe coral. To see what is another sea urchin . up to, tu rn to page 50 . . plankton drift the water. To see ing in other plankto what to, tu r n to page n are up 18 .

She slows as she swims past a branch of coral, and she takes a bite. Ouch! It’s stinging coral—her face will soon be peeling where it touched the coral. But it was worth it to her. She’s trying to get extra calcium for the eggs she’ll lay soon. 58 She lets the incoming tide push her closer to shore. When her feet hit the sand, she starts pushing herself forward up the beach. Out of the water, her body seems impossibly heavy. Slowly, she scoots toward a little spot near a piece of driftwood. She digs.

It needs warm, shallow water where the waves aren’t too rough. The planula starts to build a hard little skeleton around itself by soaking up minerals from the water. Inside this protective stone, the egg grows a tentacle. The egg becomes a coral polyp. The polyp hunts. In the dark of the night, it stretches its flowery tentacle out of the hole of its shell. It snags plankton that drift by in the currents. Sometimes it even shoots out a line of sticky mucus. When something gets stuck in it, the polyp reels it in and snacks on its trapped prey.

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