Stony coral facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Stony corals
Temporal range: Middle Triassic to Recent
The famous brain coral, a typical stony coral
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Subclass: Hexacorallia
Order: Scleratinia


Stony corals (or hard corals) are the Scleractinia, an order in the Cnidaria. It contains the polyps which build most coral reefs.

Most of these corals are colonial. They secrete calcium carbonate, the base of every reef. Very often, the corals form a symbiosis with unicellular dinoflagellates. These zooxanthellae are usually of the genus Symbiodinium.

The closest relatives to stony corals are the sea anemones. Stony corals are only distantly related to fire corals and soft corals. There are about 1500 species, in 35 families.

Images for kids

Stony coral Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.