Shimmer the Coral

Hey kids! Welcome to Down Under, in more ways than one!

I’m Shimmer, the staghorn coral. What’s a coral, you ask? A coral is a type of Cnidarian. A Cnidarian is a group of animals that have special stinging tentacles called nematocysts that we use to capture prey as it floats by us in the water. As corals, we live in colonies of individual polyps. People call us “stony” corals because we make our polyps out of calcium carbonate, which is very hard—and your bones have it too! Over time, as we continue to build polyps, we become the foundation for reefs.

Shimmer the Coral

There are a ton of different types of staghorn coral out there. If you go to any reef in the world, you will probably find some of my relatives. When we reproduce, we spray our babies into the water and let the oceans carry them to new places. We do this when the moon looks just right so that we all do it at the same time in our area!

We get our colors from some friends that live with us. They’re called zooxanthellae. These are colorful photosynthetic algae that we have a good relationship with. We give them a home, and they give us food they don’t need. But sometimes, when things aren’t quite right, we will kick them out in a process called bleaching.

You know, kids, evolutionists tell us that we corals evolved from some jellyfish-like creatures millions of years ago. Yet just looking at all the incredible designs that exist just in staghorn coral, from our tentacles to the timing of our breeding to how we work with our neighbor algae, we know that God masterfully designed us. And he designed you too! Your body is created in his image and designed to fulfill the role God has for you in his creation. You can say with me as the Bible does, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” (Ps 139:14)

Staghorn Coral Classification

Class: Anthozoa
Order: Scleractinia
Family: Acroporidae
Genus: Acropora
Species: Acropora pulchra
Lifespan: Unknown, but colonies of polyps can live for decades, even potentially centuries

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