Listen: Florida, Scientist, Roger German discussed on Florida Matters
"Erin dan hi and from the florida aquarium kerry o.'neil is the senior coral scientist at the floor aquarium and roger german is here to he's. He's the c._e._o. Of the florida aquarium thank you both so much for being here but thank goodness okay so let's talk about coral. Coral is kind of weird. I mean it's like nothing else. People don't know whether it's a plan torn animal. Where does it live. Why does it live in these special places carrie. What is coral sure so a lot of people think that coral is just a rock or a plant. It's actually an animal and it lives only on the bout 'bout top inch of it's hard stony skeleton made of calcium carbonate that it builds over time as it grows so the coral actually has little mouths and little tentacles and has soft tissue on the outside of this hard skeleton and they come in all different shapes and sizes and colors. There's and some are just big mounds and some very fine and branched chain and all of these corals species growing together are what form the coral reef inform all all this intricate habitat for all the other organisms that rely on a coral reef so take home message is that corals are animals <hes> just because they don't have eyeballs <hes> <hes> and they can't give you a sad little look doesn't mean that they're not live than they actually are victims of their own circumstance because once they've settled the very first i part of their life they they settle onto a rock and then that's where they live for potentially thousands of years after that they can't get up and move away from things that are happening to them. They can't run away aaron but they do live in a symbiotic relationship with plants with algae right and that's what gives them their colors. Yeah absolutely corals roles themselves. The animals are often just translucent you know so when you're looking at the coral colony you see a vibrant coloration but it actually has very a little to do with the animal itself that color that you see the unique browns and greens and oranges sometimes even blues are associated with the symbiotic relationship russian ship that these animals have with a single cell algae that live inside their tissue and the common name for that single cell algae is called suzanne kelly those those little algae's actually provide food for the corals to live through the process of photosynthesis and the coral animal themselves. Give those anthony home home to to live in an and so it's a form of protection and these are really ancient creatures. I would think yes they've been around for millions of years. Some they've withstood did the test of time. Although of course the species that we have now weren't around millions of years ago so they've evolved into different species and providing different niches says for our ecosystem so roger german your c._e._o. Of the florida aquarium tell us about florida's coral reef chief and why the florida aquarium feels like it's important to be involved in those research efforts so i grew up in chicago and i have to be honest. I didn't realize that the the third largest coral reef tract in the world is right here in florida so coming down here. I was like that's really cool. People travel you know thousands of miles to the great barrier reef even australia or believes but we have this amazing nature in our backyard and the florida aquarium we are committed to."