Coral Reefs (850L) - Science Informational Text Reading Passage
This piece of complex text (850L, 635 words) help support the science concept of how man impacts the environment.
Great potential for a close read during the reading block. Includes 5 ELA-style questions.
SC.4.L.17.4 Recognize ways plants and animals, including humans, can impact the environment.
This text is available from our TpT store.
Believe it or not, the most diverse wildlife is not on land at all. The most diverse ecosystems in the world are coral reefs. They are sometimes called the Rainforests of the Sea.” Thousands of species depend on reefs for food and protection. People too depend on the reefs for the same reasons. No, we are not talking about the vast world oceans. Coral reefs only cover a tiny portion of the ocean floor. Even though they cover only 0.1% of the ocean floor, they are home to 25% of the ocean’s marine species. Coral reefs are most commonly found in shallow tropical waters. So what exactly is a coral reef?
Coral reefs are built by colonies of tiny animals. These tiny animals are called coral polyps. Coral polyps can exist in many shapes and forms. They can be found as large reef building colonies like the images below. They can also be found as delicate and graceful flowing fans. Other coral polyps exist as small, solitary organisms. More than 6,000 species of coral are known. How can small patches of coral be so important to both sea life and people?