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Four new corals recorded from Indian waters

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Four new corals recorded from Indian waters

Recently, for the first time, scientists have recorded the presence of 4 species of azooxanthellate coral in Indian waters.

For the first time, the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has recorded the presence of four species of Aegutgenthily corals from the waters of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

All four species of coral belong to the same family Flabellidae.

Recorded 4 species-

  1. Truncatoflabellum crissum,
  2. incrustatum,
  3. aculeatum, and
  4. irregulare
  • Azooxanthellate corals are a group of corals that do not contain zooxanthellae — unicellular, golden-brown algae. They are found in dark habitats, especially within caverns.
  • Their distribution is not limited to the upper layer of ocean alone, but are known from the tropical seas to polar seas and from the intertidal zone to over 6,328 metres depth.
  • All four specimens were previously recorded from Japan to the Philippines and Australian waters while only T. crassum was reported within the range of Indo-West Pacific distribution including the Gulf of Aden and the Persian Gulf, they said.
  • About 570 species of hard coral are found in India. About 90% of these species are found in the waters around the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • Corals cover less than 1% of the Earth’s surface, but they provide shelter to about 25% of marine life.

Coral Reefs

  • Coral reefs are one of the most productive, sustainable and pristine ecosystems of the world’s oceans (especially in shallow coastal waters).
  • These are invertebrates belonging to the Cnidaria family. They have a symbiotic relationship with the zooxanthellae algae.

Coral reefs in India

In the large are of Gulf of Mannar, Palk-Gulf, Gulf of Kutch, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep. These are protected under Schedule-I of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972.

Source – The Hindu

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