Aquarium Pula continuously concentrates its efforts towards protecting the most sensitive and endangered Adriatic species while raising public awareness.
Aquarium Pula, like all aquariums in the world, conducts coral propagation for its exhibits. Propagation is a process in which corals under human care are split into smaller fragments; the parent unit is divided into several fragments, each of which then develops into a new coral. The optimal and strictly controlled breeding conditions in our aquarium ensure the successful growth of tropical corals: Euphyllia divisa, Montipora digitata, Ricordia sp., Merulina sp., Duncan sp., Milepora sp. and Cynarina sp. as well as propagation of the Adriatic corals from the Gorgonia genus (Paramuricea clavata, Eunicella verrucosa), and the cushion coral (Cladocora caespitosa).
What are corals?
Corals are marine invertebrates within the class Anthozoa (Greek ánthos; "flower" and zóa; "animals") of the phylum Cnidaria. They are closely related to anemones and jellyfish. Each individual coral animal is called a polyp.
Stony corals, also known as hard corals, possess a hard calcium-based skeleton, which they use to form massive coral reef structures. Many stony corals are at the same time photosynthetic organisms, thanks to the algae (the so-called symbiotic algae) living inside their tissue. For that reason, the stony corals usually live in shallow areas where they receive a lot of sunlight, the main food source for the algae.
Unlike the stony corals, soft corals have small, pointy skeleton elements (sclerites) which keep them upright and give them a spiky, rough texture. Most soft corals do not perform photosynthesis, and instead of symbiotic algae, they have eight tentacles they use to catch food (plankton) themselves.
Example of stony coral -
Example of soft coral -
Coral reefs are one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth; they cover only 1% of its surface, but they support 25% of the biodiversity. However, the acidification of oceans and long-lasting high temperatures cause mass coral bleaching (the process of the loss of algae living in their tissue), which threatens their survival all over the world. It is estimated that more than 50% of coral reefs have been irreparably damaged, which puts at risk one of the world's greatest resources.
The importance of coral reefs
Threats to coral reefs