Classification of Coral


Fish Guru
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May 8, 2019
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Lawrenceburg, KY
so jellyfish aren't fish?
That is correct. All fish have backbones. Jellyfish, do not.

They are in the phylum Cnidaria, as mentioned above.

Coral and jellyfish are both in the phylum Cnidaria, making them close “cousins”. However, they are NOT the same thing.

both coral and jellyfish have little stinging things (i forget what called) so i think that’s why they are Cnidarians? @PheonixKingZ can help me out bc i don’t really know coral very well
Both coral and jellyfish have something called radial symmetry, which is their defense mechanism that they use for their tentacles. This is the mechanism that releases the venom from their tentacles.

Both coral and jellyfish also have sac-like digestive cavities, that they use to break down their food.

Just to recap: Both are in the same phylum, and they are very closely related, but they are not the same.


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Jan 26, 2008
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Perth, WA
Only LPS and SPS have skeletons, with soft tissues growing out of the top of them. Soft corals (zoas, palys, mushrooms, Kenya trees, etc) don’t have a skeleton.
Gorgonians and Sea fans have hard skeletons too.


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Jul 1, 2020
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I have read that Coral is an animal as opposed to plant? So what type of animal would this qualify as?
Others above have already answered the details here, but from an evolutionary stand point, sponges, corals, etc... derive from right in the evolutionary split-point between animals and fungus on the animal side -- so corals and sponges are kind of the closest remaining animal cousins to fungus explaining why they look and function so much differently from what we generally think of as animals. Similarly the fungus just on the fungus side of the split from animals is actually very "coral like" in certain respects such as Chytridiomycota being fungus that posses features in common with "early animals" such as flagella motile zoospores that cruise around via their own motility to set up the next generation somewhere else.

On a related note I would like to point out in regard to various sub-threads present in this discussion that fungus are also "not plants" and that there are more things than animals that are "not plants" including what is possibly the largest living creature on earth.

But this would pose the question, could I submit a picture of my pet hydra?

A good question. I mean if you are hoping to win with your pet hydra I think you will find the voting won't be in your favor, but to have it run I can't imagine why that would be a huge offense. Similarly I would probably vote for some people's pet coral over the various rodents that are entered, but that is my personal taste obviously and moreover it seems like the theme of the Pet of the Month club is the unwritten but implicit "Your pet that lives outside of your tanks where we spend the rest of the time talking" which would rule out coral and hydra on those grounds.

Yes. But "cute" obviously is in the eye of the beholder and not some absolute thing.

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