EarthLabs > Corals > Lab 3: Building a Reef

Building a Reef


Image courtesy of via NASA.

Coral reefs are made of aragonite, a type of calcium carbonate (limestone) crystal that is secreted by coral polyps. The corals and zooxanthellae work together to extract materials out of seawater to form the hard exoskeletons that form reef structures. During this lab, you will learn about the life cycle of corals, including how they grow and reproduce. You will also consider the chemistry of seawater and demonstrate how calcium carbonate precipitates to form skeletal reef material.

After completing this investigation, you should be able to:

Keeping Track of What You Learn

Throughout these labs, you will find two kinds of questions. Your teacher will let you know which answers you should record and turn in.

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