Anemone Vs. Coral
Difference Between Anemone And Coral
Anemone, any of a group of spring, summer, and autumn flowering perennials found in the northern temperate zone and in mountain areas. Also called windflowers, anemones are hardy garden plants with an erect stem; they reach about 2 to 3 feet (0.6 to 0.9 meter) in height. The compound leaves usually appear in whorls at the base of the stem or near the flowers. The flowers lack petals, but the sepals form the showy, colored part of the flower. There are many short stamens.
The genus Anemone belongs to the crowfoot family, Ranunculaceae, in the order Ranunculales, class Magnoliopsida. There are between 85 and 100 species. Common among the anemones is the poppy anemone (A. coronaria). Native to the Mediterranean region, it has red, blue, or white flowers and is the species usually sold by florists. The snowdrop anemone (A. sylvestris) has white flowers and is native to Europe. The candle anemone (A. cylindrica) has greenish white flowers and inhabits woods from New Brunswick, Canada, to New Jersey and westward to Kansas, New Mexico, and British Columbia. Several forms also are cultivated in greenhouses as winter flowers. These are A. hortensis, A. coronaria, and A. fulgens. For the marine animal of the same name, see Sea Anemone.
Coral, a small marine animal that has a stony skeleton and lives in colonies. The gradual accumulation of coral skeletons over a period of thousands of years results in the formation of coral reefs.
The Coral Animal
Coral animals, or polyps, are small coelenterates that resemble miniature sea anemones. They belong to the order Madreporaria in the class Anthozoa. Although some are solitary, the great majority live in colonies produced by budding (a form of asexual reproduction). Each individual, or unit, of the colony consists of the coral animal, or polyp, which is fastened permanently in a calcareous cup. The polyp has a columnar body topped by a flat disc bearing tentacles and the central mouth. The polyp can contract into the cup to some extent but cannot detach itself from it. The cup is secreted by the surface layer of the coral polyp and therefore lies entirely outside the polyp’s tissues.
The cups of the members of the colony fuse and form a calcareous mass of various compact or branching shapes. This mass is enlarged by the continuous increase in the number of polyps through budding and by the continuous deposition of calcareous substance. The polyps remain alive only on the surface of the mass, but the calcareous depositions of their predecessors remain as permanent parts of the mass.
In this way a colony of a given species of coral may attain a width or height of several feet. The rate of growth varies from 1/4 inch (0.64 cm) to several inches annually in different types of corals. The combined activity of many colonies of various species over the centuries build up a calcareous ridge or mound that may attain a depth of hundreds or even thousands of feet. Such masses are known as coral reefs.