Thursday, March 1, 2007

Relation to the Environment

Can you spot the fish?
1. Symbiotic relationships with other animals like certain fish, shrimp and other small animals. They live among the tentacles of large sea anemones, which protects and provides food for these symbionts. The symbionts in turn, help clean the sea anemone and protect it from certain predators.

2. Corals and reefs are important in the ecology of tropical oceans. In the tunnels, caves, and channels created, live beautiful and fascinating animals. Corals are important to humans too. They provide a home for food fishes and edible animals, as well as for organisms that produce shells, pearls, and other products. They have been used to build houses and to filter drinking water. Reefs are also there to protect the land from the waves. Large amoujnts of shoreline may be washed away without coral reefs. Fossil reefs give important clues to geologists about the locations of oil deposits.

3. Medical Research: Some snidarians like sponges produce chemicals to protect themselves from being infected, overgrown, or settled upon. These chemicals may provide us with drugs. Studies on how their poison operates reveal a lot about how the system works. For instance, sea wasp jellyfish which produces nerve poisons helped scientists better understand never-cell function.

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