It depends on what part of the world you are in. Coral reefs are the richest animal habitats in the world; the average reef is said to support sixty species of coral, as well as hundreds of different snails, fish and invertebrates. The fact that so many species are simultaneously supported is due to the complex nature of the reefs; each animal plays a part in building up the ecosystem.
Worldwide, reefs offer habitat for one-quarter of all marine life. That is up to 9 million species! The diversity of plants and animals is due to the unique niches in which they live. Clown fish clean anemones, and in turn the frilly plant-like animals provide protection. This example is only one of many special relationships that allow coral reefs to support so much life.
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