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Learn about the native underwater coral you can expect to see during a snorkeling or scuba diving tour in Palawan, Philippines
- Staghorn Coral: Staghorn corals boast intricate, branching formations resembling deer antlers, and their rapid growth—up to 20 cm per year—adds a dynamic charm to Palawan’s underwater landscapes.
- Table Coral: Table corals present themselves as flat, table-like structures, gracing shallow reef areas with their expansive presence. These corals not only contribute to the reef’s aesthetics but also act as sensitive indicators of overall reef health.
- Brain Coral: With a surface resembling the convolutions of the human brain, brain corals are distinctive and fascinating. These long-lived corals, forming colonies with intricate patterns, offer insights into historical environmental conditions through their growth rings.
- Mushroom Coral: Mushroom corals exhibit a solitary and circular shape, akin to a mushroom cap, resting on sandy substrates. Their unique ability to move by inflating and deflating adds an element of unpredictability to their otherwise stationary appearance.
- Bubble Coral: Sporting bubble-like vesicles on their surface, bubble corals create a captivating visual spectacle. These vesicles house symbiotic algae, showcasing a harmonious relationship that allows the corals to thrive through photosynthesis.
- Fire Coral: Despite the misnomer, fire corals are not true corals but hydrozoans. Their intricate, delicate structures may be deceiving, as they possess a sting capable of causing discomfort to those who come in contact.
- Porites Coral: Porites corals, whether in branching or massive forms, contribute to the reef’s structural diversity. Their hard skeletons and resilience make them adaptable to various environmental challenges, including higher temperatures and pollution.
- Soft Corals: Soft corals, with their flexible and vibrant appearance, add a softness to the reef landscape. Often mistaken for plants, these animals sway with the water, creating a mesmerizing underwater ballet.
- Gorgonian Corals: Gorgonian corals form intricate fan-like structures, gracefully filtering plankton from the water. Their delicate appearance adds an ethereal quality to the underwater environment.
- Whip Coral: With long, slender branches, whip corals elegantly sway with the currents. Adapted to thrive in areas with strong water movement, these corals reduce drag, showcasing nature’s engineering at its finest.