I’m so excited that I was able to schedule a morning classroom session with the Coral Restoration Foundation for all of us. Since we’re going to be learning a whole lot about coral from the perspective of coral restoration, I though a page about Staghorn coral – one of the most common coral species to be outplanted in coral restoration programs – would be appropriate.
Learn About Staghorn Coral
You’ll most likely spot Staghorn coral in calm, clear, shallow water ( ten to 60 feet) growing in dense thickets of branches. Usually only the outer layer of these thickets is living – the interior is home to many, many reef creatures making this type of coral a critical species for a healthy coral reef.
Staghorn coral is a relatively fast-growing coral; under optimal conditions, Staghorn coral can grow five to six inches per year. During the day, the polyps retract into their hard, protective corallite structures and extend at night to catch food.
Although the structure is made of a hard material, it is fragile and can break off easily if bumped or jostled. Be very careful when swimming near any type of coral – especially these very important coral.