Land Coral

Land Coral is a life form that is abundant throughout the desert regions of the planet. Land are desert organisms thatexist as small desert anemone-like polyps, typically in colonies of many identical individuals. The group includes the important reef builders that are found in the arid desert areas, which secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton. A coral "head", commonly perceived to be a single organism, is formed from many individual but genetically identical polyps, each polyp being only a few millimeters in diameter. Over thousands of generations, the polyps lay down a skeleton that is characteristic of their species. An individual head of coral grows by asexual reproduction of the individual polyps. Corals release their gametes during the blossom season wherein they simultaneously bloom over a period of one to several nights around a full moon.


Corals can reproduce asexually. Much like terrestrial cactuses without spines, land coral secretes a hardening mixture of chemicals, similar to concrete, to cover themselves. Then much like the African termite mound, they provide a better climate inside that provide larger ones with their own controlled ecosystems.


Desert reefs are aragonite structures produced by living animal colonies, found in desert sands containing few nutrients. In most healthy reefs, stony corals are predominant. Stony corals are built from colonial polyps that secrete an exoskeleton of calcium carbonate. Reefs grow best in shallow, clear, sunny and agitated soil. The accumulation of skeletal material, broken and piled up by wind action and bioeroders, produces formation that supports the living corals and a great variety of other animal and plant life.


Often called “rainforests of the desert”, desert coral reefs form some of the richest and most diverse ecosystems on earth. They occupy less than 1% of the world's surface, about half the area of France, yet they provide a home for 25% of all desert species, including echinoderms and sponges.


One problem that occurs with many travelers is the fact, that the reefs of these creatures are often as hard as rock, and with their jagged edges can often injure those people who are trying to dismantle the reefs. It should also be noted that the reefs, due to the massive colonies of life from birds to desert sponges, many creatures will violently resist the extraction of the reefs. This has been a major obstacle for people constructing intercontinental highways and railroads over the centuries. While they can be overcome, these reefs have earned their reputation as "nature's barrier".

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