Manipur’s Ima market
Paper 2 – Social Justice
Why You Should Know?
RecenltyExternal Affairs minister S Jaishankar tweeted pictures of his visit to Manipur’s Ima market, calling it a “great example of nari shakti (women’s power) powering economic growth”.
In detail –
What is the Ima market
- Ima Keithel, or Mothers’ Market, is an all-women market, said to be the largest such shopping complex in Asia.
- A unique all women’s market, having 3,000 “Imas” or mothers who run the stalls, it is split [into] two sections on either side of road.
- Vegetables, fruits, fish and household groceries are sold on one side and exquisite handlooms and household tools on the other. Not far away is a street where beautiful wicker works and basketry are sold.
- Male vendors and shopkeepers are barred here. In 2018, the state government announced that legal action would be taken under the Manipur Municipalities Act, 2004 if any male vendor was found selling goods at the market.
- While the Keithel was earlier a collection of stalls, in 2010, the government moved it to the Khwairamband Bazaar, where it has taken a more organised and safer shape.
- The Ima Market is centuries-old, and has its origins in LallupKaba, an ancient bonded labour system.
- Under the system, Meitei men had to compulsorily serve some time working in the military and on other civil projects, keeping them away from home.
- The women, thus, were left to manage on their own, and they developed a market system which is today the Ima Keithel.
- According to R Brown, author of ‘Statistical Account of the Native State of Manipur, and the Hill Territory Under its Rule’ (1870), “The general system of lallup is based on the assumption that it is the duty of every male between the ages of 17 and 60 to place his services at the disposal of the state, without remuneration, for a certain number of days in each year. The number of days thus placed nominally at the disposal of the state is ten days in every forty.” Women were exempt from this
- While the system is centuries-old, it had continued till the time of the British. Policies of the British government had interfered with the functioning of the Ima market too, but were met with stiff resistance from the women.
- Jaishankar’s visit to the market came as he is in Manipur from November 26-28.
Sources – IE
Anti-Government Protests in China
Paper 2 –International Issues
Why You Should Know?
Amid rising coronavirus cases in China, with over 40,000 daily cases being reported on November 26, 2022 unprecedented public protests are being witnessed despite heavy censorship and the government’s attempts to manage the situation.
In detail –
- People from major cities like Shanghai and Beijing are speaking out against the government’s ‘Zero Covid’ strategy, under which even a few cases of coronavirus lead to strict lockdowns, PCR tests, and restrictions on travel and day-to-day movement.
- This policy has been in place since the pandemic began in 2020, even while other countries have largely moved away from harsh lockdowns.
What happened recently?
- It is believed the current protests are a result of the public’s long-term dissatisfaction with the policy – which has come to the fore because of a recent incident.
- OnNovember 24, 2022 a fire killed 10 people in a high-rise building in Urumqi, the capital of the restive Xinjiang region in northwest China. Crowds took to the street on Friday evening.
- The crowd’s anger was heightened by the belief that the forced lockdown led to a greater number of deaths and difficulty in evacuation.
- Chinese officials have denied this, and during the weekend, Xinjiang Communist Party Secretary Ma Xingrui called for the region to step up security maintenance and curb the “illegal violent rejection of COVID-prevention measures”.
- Interestingly, Xinjiang is also where a significant Uyghur population (an ethnic minority in China) resides.
- Many international organisations and governments in the West have alleged over the years that the treatment of Uyghurs amounts to a severe human rights violations at the hand of the Chinese government. Therefore, protests in Xinjiang are especially risky.
- However, most protesters in the videos that have surfaced were members of China’s dominant Han ethnic group.
- Posts on Chinese social media were quickly deleted, which Beijing often does to suppress criticism.
- It was soon reported that by the weekend, protests in China spread to its largest city, Shanghai.
- Demonstrators gathered at one of Beijing’s most prestigious universities.
- Candlelight vigils for the Urumqi victims took place at universities in other cities as well.
- Other cities that have seen public dissent include Lanzhou in the northwest, where residents on Saturday upturned Covid staff tents and smashed testing booths.
- Protesters said they were put under lockdown even though no one had tested positive.
- Shanghai police used pepper spray against about 300 protesters, according to a witness.
- Nanjing in the east, Guangzhou in the south and at least five other cities showed protesters tussling with police.
‘Zero Covid’ strategy
- China defends the policy as life-saving and necessary to prevent overwhelming the healthcare system, and to a degree, it has achieved success.
- The death toll and spread of infection have been lower in China when compared to other major countries.
- On the flip side, public frustration has also accumulated. Further, anti-virus controls have periodically shut down Shanghai, one of the world’s busiest ports, and other industrial centres.
- Millions of families have been confined to their homes, depressing consumer spending, and the economy has been impacted due to these shutdowns.
Source – IE
Paper 1 –Geography
Why You Should Know?
The Shiveluch volcano in Russia’s far eastern Kamchatka peninsula may be gearing up for its first powerful eruption in 15 years.
In detail –
- Kamchatka is home to 29 active volcanoes, part of a vast belt of Earth known as the “Ring of Fire” which circles the Pacific Ocean and is prone to eruptions and frequent earthquakes.
- Most of the peninsula’s volcanoes are surrounded by sparsely populated forest and tundra, so pose little risk to local people, but big eruptions can spew glass, rock and ash into the sky, threatening aircraft.
- According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), these kinds of eruptions typically happen three or four times a year in Kamchatka, requiring air traffic to be rerouted.
- Six volcanoes in Russia’s northeast are currently showing signs of increased activity, including Eurasia’s highest active volcano KlyuchevskayaSopka, which began erupting last Thursday.
- Shiveluch is one of the largest and most active volcanoes in Kamchatka, having erupted at least 60 times in the past 10,000 years.
- It has two main parts: Old Shiveluch, which tops 3,283 metres (10,771 ft), and Young Shiveluch – a smaller, 2,800-metre peak protruding from its side.
- Young Shiveluch lies within an ancient caldera – a large crater-like basin that likely formed when the older part underwent a catastrophic eruption at least 10,000 years ago.
- It is this part that has become extremely active, the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) said on Sunday, warning that the volcano’s lava dome continues to grow and that stronger “fumarole activity” has been observed.
- Domes are mounds that form from accumulating lava, and fumaroles are openings through which hot sulphurous gases emerge.
- An eruption may pose a risk to international flights and has been marked with an “orange” threat level, KVERT said, meaning that it is more likely to erupt.
- The volcano has been continuously erupting since August 1999, but occasionally undergoes powerful explosive events, including in 2007, when NASA said it ejected a large ash cloud 9,750 metres (32,000 ft) into the sky.
- Alexei Ozerov, a director at the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology of the Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said on Sunday the volcano’s dome has become very hot.
- “The dome glows at night from nearly all sides. Red-hot avalanches with a temperature of 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832°F) roll down the slopes,” he said.
- A representative from the institute told Reuters this typically happens before a powerful “paroxysmal eruption”, which can happen at any time.
- “When the paroxysmal stage of eruption occurs, pyroclastic flows (a mixture of hot gas, ash and rock) will descend from the slopes of Shiveluch at high velocity,” they said.
- “Ash emissions pose a very great danger to aviation. Tourists should refrain from visiting the volcano area within a radius of 25 kilometres.”
- At least two earthquakes, including one of magnitude 5.7 at a depth of 21 kilometres, were detected off the east coast of the peninsula on Tuesday.
Source – IE
Crisis in Darjeeling Tea Industry
Paper 3 –Economy
Why You Should Know?
The Tea Board of India officials admitted that Indian tea had not been able to establish itself globally, and that one of its key brands, Darjeeling Tea, was under acute stress.
In detail –
- During the annual general meeting of the Indian Tea Association (ITA) in Kolkata, the Tea Board of India said it had sought a special financial package of ₹1,000 crore from the Centre for the tea Industry over five years.
- Darjeeling Tea, called the ‘Champagne of Teas’, was the first Indian product to get the GI (Geographical Identification) tag in 2004 for its distinctive aroma and flavour.
- About 87 gardens in Darjeeling which employ about 55,000 workers produce approximately 7 million kg of tea, most of which is exported.
- According to insiders, over the past few months a lot of gardens in the hills have changed hands because the owners were reeling under higher costs of production and other issues.
Threat from Nepal’s gardens
- A report by the Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Ministry of Commerce, tabled in Parliament in June, said “unhampered and easy influx of substandard tea from neighbouring countries, especially Nepal” is jeopardising the tea industry of India.
- The document pointed out that inferior quality tea from Nepal was being imported, and then sold and re-exported as premium Darjeeling Tea.
- Under the Revised Treaty of Trade between the Governments of India and Nepal in October 2009, both parties had agreed to exempt from basic customs duty, as well as from quantitative restrictions, the import of mutually agreed primary products.
- Data from the Tea Association of India show that the total tea imported from Nepal in 2020-21 was 10.74 million kg; during the same period, the total tea import of India was pegged at 27.75 million kg.
- Industry experts said Nepal, which shares similar climatic conditions and terrain, produces tea at a lower price because of less input costs, particularly labour, and fewer quality checks.
- Even though the quality is no match, yet the tea from Nepal posed a serious challenge to Darjeeling Tea, officials said.
Other points of stress
- The influx of tea from Nepal picked up pace in 2017, when the 107- day agitation and shutdown in the Darjeeling hills brought tea production to a halt.
- From June to September 2017, tea bushes in Darjeeling lay unattended during the agitation called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha over demand of a separate State of Gorkhaland.
- In 2017, the production of Darjeeling Tea hit a low of 3.21 million kg.
- Since a substantial market of Darjeeling Tea is exported, exporters switched to cheaper varieties of tea, including the imported variety from Nepal.
- Tea planters and industry experts admit that the tea industry in Darjeeling has not recovered from the damage it incurred in 2017.
- The reduction in production and rise of input costs is another worry. Tea production in Darjeeling which used to be around 10-12 million kg a decade back now stands at 6.87 mkg (2021).
- Industry experts say the decline in production is due to multiple factors, which include climate change, declining yields and high absenteeism among workers.
- Because of the hilly terrain of Darjeeling there is no land left for expansion of tea gardens. The tea bushes are older than other parts of the country. Uprooting and planting them is both time and cost intensive.
- Planters have also been complaining about the stagnant prices of auction of Darjeeling Tea, which in 2021 was on average pegged at ₹365.45 per kg.
- According to the ITA, prices of Darjeeling Tea in the last six years have grown at a CAGR (cumulative annual growth rate) of only 1.7% against an increasing cost of input between 10% and 12% CAGR.
Restriction for Cheap quality tea
- In November 2021, the Tea Board of India issued a notification to restrict the import and distribution of cheap quality tea.
- It asked those who were packaging Darjeeling Tea to indicate on the package if the tea was blended with imported tea, and also give the source of origin of the tea.
- Packeteers have brought down their purchase of Darjeeling Tea after the notification impacted prices.
- Some global factors like the decline in demand from European markets in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war have compounded the problem.
- The Standing Committee of Parliament has recommended that the Government “review and revisit the Indo-Nepal Treaty for incorporating stringent requirements for certificate of origin on tea imports from Nepal.”
- The committee suggested that Small Tea Growers (STGs) should also be recognised as GI-registered producers on a par with the 87 tea estates which produce Darjeeling Tea to ensure better price premium.
- According to available data, about 52% of tea in the country is produced by STGs. Industry experts called for raising the domestic consumption of tea in India, particularly when exports are not picking up.
- The per capita tea consumption in the country remains at 850 grams and is less than neighbouring countries.
Sources – TH
Har GharGangajal scheme
Paper 2–Government Schemes
Why Should You Know?
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is going to launch the Har GharGangajal project in Rajgir and Gaya.
In details –
Har GharGangajal scheme
- Har GharGangajal is part of the Bihar government’s Jal, Jeevan, Hariyali scheme.
- In the Rs 4,000-crore first phase of the project — which has been completed and will be launched by the Chief Minister — giant pumps will lift Ganga water from Hathidah near Mokama and supply it to about 7.5 lakh homes in the state’s main tourism destinations of Rajgir, Bodhgaya, and Gaya.
- The water will be stored in reservoirs in Rajgir and Gaya before being channelled to three treatment-and-purification plants, from where it will be supplied to the public.
- The water will travel more than 150 km through pipes from Hathidah, and will use a network of existing, renovated, and new connections to reach every beneficiary household.
- According to estimates made by the government, the scheme will provide every individual beneficiary with 135 litres — about two large buckets — of Ganga water every day for drinking and domestic use.
- The scheme is currently limited to the urban areas of Rajgir, Gaya, and Bodhgaya.
- During the second phase of the project, which is expected to be launched some time next year, Ganga water will be taken to Nawada.
The need for the scheme
- The area around Rajgir (in Nalanda district), which was the nucleus of the ancient kingdom of Magadh and is associated with the founders of both Buddhism and Jainism, is rocky and water-deficient.
- Over the years, unplanned and indiscriminate use of groundwater has depleted subterranean reservoirs, lowered the water table, and affected the quality of the water in Gaya and Rajgir.
- The bulk of the urban water supply continues to be through tube wells. A study by the Bihar Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) showed the average groundwater level in Gaya district had plunged from 30.30 feet in July 2021 to 41.50 feet in July 2022.
- Data from the Central Ground Water Board’s Year Book for Bihar show the water table in Gaya and Rajgir fell by between 2 and 4 metres between 2014-15 and 2020-21.
- Handpumps have been going dry at many places in the region. The district administrations of Nalanda and Gaya have been arranging for water tankers to supply drinking water in the town areas as the scarcity becomes acute in the summer.
- This is a short-term and insufficient measure, and there is an urgent need to shift to a more sustainable and reliable source of water.
- The government expects the Har GharGangajal scheme to also help alleviate distress from the annual flooding of the banks of the Ganga.
- Over the years, heavy silting in the riverbed — affecting especially Mokama, Hathidah, Barh, and Lakhisarai — and the release of water from dams upstream in Nepal have resulted in the Ganga spilling over even when the monsoon rainfall over Bihar has not been exceptionally heavy.
- It is expected that the diversion of Ganga water during the monsoon season will help to reduce the impact of flooding along the banks of the river.
- The government has assured that the water for the scheme would be lifted only during the four months of the monsoon when the Ganga has excess water; therefore, the diversion will not lead to depletion of the river, disturbance in its natural flow, or potential changes in its course.
- The government plans to build 13 more reservoirs in Gaya and Rajgir to store diverted floodwaters in the coming years.
Working of the system
- The project has been described as a “lift-store-tame-treat-supply” system.
- Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Limited (MEIL) has been working on the project since 2019, employing about 2,200 people and high-end technology.
- A 447-metre approach channel has been constructed in Hathidah on the right bank of the Ganga near the Rajendra Bridge, through which water is taken to an intake-well-cum-pumphouse, which is powered by a dedicated electricity substation with a 7500 KVA transformer, and two smaller 250 KVA transformers. State-of-the-art online filters have been installed near the intake well to ensure silt-free water enters the pump and pipeline, and there is no erosion in the riverbed.
- The 151-km pipeline network will use a railway overbridge and four bridges.
- A water treatment plant with a capacity of 186.5 million litres per day (MLD) at Manpur in Gaya will supply to Gaya and Bodh Gaya.
- The three storage reservoirs are at Tetar, Rajgir, and Gaya with live capacities of 18.633 million cubic metres (MCM), 9.915 MCM, and 0.938 MCM respectively.
- Besides Manpur, a smaller water treatment plant of capacity 24 MLD has been built in Rajgir.
Sources – IE
Paper 3 – Science & Tech
Why You Should Know?
On 26 November, 2022The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) successfully placed earth observation satellite EOS-06 and eight nanosatellites in multi-orbits.
In detail –
- The mission was accomplished from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR on 26th November 2022.
- The 44.4 metre tall rocket lifted off at a prefixed time at 11:56 am from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at this spaceport at the end of a 25.30-hour countdown.
- After reaching the intended orbit 17 minutes after PSLV-C54 lifted off, the Earth Observation Satellite or the Oceansat successfully separated from the rocket and was placed into orbit.
- It was PSLV’s 56th flight and 24th flight of PSLV-XL version with six XL boosters.
- EOS-06 is third generation satellite in the Oceansat series, which provides continued services of Oceansat-2 with enhanced payload capability.
- The satellite onboard carries four important payloads viz. Ocean Color Monitor (OCM-3), Sea Surface Temperature Monitor (SSTM), Ku-Band Scatterometer (SCAT-3), ARGOS.
- The Oceansat-2 which was a launched during Sept-2009 configured to cover global oceans and provide continuity of ocean colour data with global wind vector and characterization of lower atmosphere and ionosphere.
- The mission resulted in many research collaborations nationally and internationally on various areas global chlorophyll distribution, Kd 490 distribution, ocean color images, oil spillages, wind vector products.
- The EOS-06 is envisaged to observe ocean color data, sea surface temperature and wind vector data to use in Oceanography, climatic and meteorological applications.
- The satellite also supports value added products such as potential fishing zone using chlorophyll, SST and wind speed and land based geophysical parameters.
- The Primary satellite (EOS-06) has been separated in Orbit-1.
Seven commercial satellites
the seven commercial satellites from NSIL were deployed successfully.
- Astrocast is a 3U spacecraft with 4 nos. of Satellites from Spaceflight Inc, USA, were separated subsequently.
- The Thybolt is a 0.5U spacecraft bus that includes a communication payload to enable rapid technology demonstration and constellation development for multiple users from Dhruva Space using their own Orbital Deployer with a minimum lifetime of 1 year, was deployed in the intended orbit.
- The Anand three axis stabilized Nano satellite is a technology demonstrator for miniaturized electro-optical payload and all other sub-systems like TTC, power, onboard computer and ADCS from Pixxel, India was also placed in the orbit successfully
- INDIA-BHUTAN SAT a collaborative mission between India and Bhutan is INS-2B satellite for Bhutan with two payloadsviz. NanoMx, a multispectral optical imaging payload developed by Space Applications Centre (SAC) and APRS-Digipeater which is jointly developed by DITT-Bhutan and URSC was successfully deployed.
Sources – TOI
Paper 3 – Security
Why You Should Know?
‘Ikshak’, the third of the four Survey Vessels (Large) (SVL) Project, being built by GRSE/L&T for Indian Navy was launched on 26 Nov 22 at Kattupalli, Chennai.
In detail –
- She made her first contact with water of Bay of Bengal at 1040 hrs at the Launch Ceremony graced by the VAdm MA Hampiholi, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Southern Naval Command.
- In keeping with the Naval maritime tradition, SmtMadhumatiHampiholi, spouse of VAdm MA Hampiholi, launched the ship to the chanting of invocation from Atharva Veda.
- The ship has been named ‘Ikshak’ which means ‘Guide’. The ship has been named to signify the contribution of the Survey ships towards facilitating safe passage for Mariners at Sea.
- Contract for building four SVL ships was signed between MoD and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata on 30 Oct 18 for a total cost of Rs 2435 Cr.
- As per build strategy adopted by GRSE, first ship is being built at GRSE, Kolkata and construction of balance three ships (upto outfitting stage) has been sub-contracted to M/s L&T Shipbuilding, Kattupalli.
- The first of class ship ‘Sandhayak’ was launched on 05 Dec 21 at M/s GRSE, Kolkata, by Smt Pushpa Bhatt, wife of Shri Ajay Bhatt, Raksha Rajya Mantri, who was the Chief Guest for Launching Ceremony.
About the Survey Vessel
- SVL ships will replace the existing Sandhayak Class survey ships with new generation hydrographic equipment to collect oceanographic data.
- The Survey Vessel (Large) ships are 110 m long, 16 m wide with deep displacement of 3400 tons and a complement of 231 personnel.
- Propulsion system of the ship consists of two Main Engines in twin shaft configuration and is designed with cruise speed of 14 knots and maximum speed of 18 knots.
- Bow & Stern Thrusters have been catered for better manoeuvring at low speeds required during shallow water survey operations.
- The hull of these ships is made from indigenously developed DMR 249-A steel manufactured by Steel Authority of India Limited.
- With a capability to carry four Survey Motor Boats and an integral helicopter, the primary role of the ships would be to undertake full scale coastal and deep-water hydrographic surveys of Ports and navigational channels.
- The ships would also be deployed for collecting oceanographic and geophysical data for defence as well as civil applications.
- In their secondary role, the ships are capable of providing limited defence, besides serving as Hospital ships during emergencies.
- Despite challenges due to COVID-19 pandemic, L&T and GRSE have made substantial progress and aim to deliver ‘Ikshak’ by Oct 2023.
- Launch of the third Survey Vessel reinforces our resolve for indigenous shipbuilding as part of Indian Government’s vision of ‘Make in India’, and thrust to the vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
- The Survey Vessels Large will have over 80% indigenous content by cost.
- This will also ensure that large scale defence production are executed by Indian manufacturing units thereby generating employment and capability build up within the country.
Sources – LM
“AUSTRA HIND 22”
Paper 2 – International Relations
Why You Should Know?
The bilateral training exercise “AUSTRA HIND 22” between contingents of the Indian Army and the Australian Army is scheduled to take place at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges (Rajasthan) from 28 November to 11 December 2022.
In detail –
- This is the first exercise in the series of AUSTRA HIND with participation of all arms and services contingent from both armies.
- The Australian Army contingent comprising soldiers from the 13th Brigade of the 2nd Division has arrived at the exercise location.
- The Indian Army is represented by troops from the DOGRA Regiment. Exercise “AUSTRA HIND” will be a yearly event that will be conducted alternatively in India and Australia.
- Aim of the exercise is to build positive military relations, imbibe each other’s best practices and promote the ability to operate together while undertaking multi-domain operations in Semi deserts terrain under a UN peace enforcement mandate.
- This joint exercise will enable the two armies to share best practices in tactics, techniques and procedures for conducting tactical operations at Company and Platoon level for neutralising hostile threats.
- Training on new generation equipment and specialist weapons including snipers, surveillance & communication equipment to achieve a high degree of situational awareness apart from casualty management, casualty evacuation and planning logistics at Battalion / Company level are also planned.
- During the exercise, participants will engage in a variety of tasks ranging from joint planning, joint tactical drills, sharing basics of special arms skills and raiding a hostile target.
- The joint exercise, besides promoting understanding and interoperability between the two armies, will further help in strengthening ties between India and Australia.
Source – PIB
New Species of Black Corals
Paper 3 – Environment
Why Should You Know?
Recently Scientists discover new species of black corals near the Great Barrier Reef.
In detail –
- Using a remote-controlled submarine, researchers at Smithsonian Institution, Washington, discovered five new species of black corals living as deep as 2,500 feet (760 metres) below the surface in the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea off the coast of Australia.
- Black corals can be found growing both in shallow waters and down to depths of over 26,000 feet (8,000 metres), and some individual corals can live for over 4,000 years.
- Many of these corals are branched and look like feathers, fans or bushes, while others are straight like a whip.
- Unlike their colourful, shallow-water cousins that rely on the sun and photosynthesis for energy, black corals are filter feeders and eat tiny zooplankton that are abundant in deep waters.
- In the past, corals from the deep parts of this region were collected using dredging and trawling methods that would often destroy the corals.
About the research
- The researchers first sent a robot down to these particular deep-water ecosystems, allowing the team to actually see and safely collect deep sea corals in their natural habitats.
- Over the course of 31 dives, the researchers collected 60 black coral specimens.
- They then removed the corals from the sandy floor or coral wall using the rover’s robotic claws, placed the corals in a pressurised, temperature-controlled storage box and then brought them up to the surface.
- The researchers then examined the physical features of the corals and sequenced their DNA.
- Among the many interesting specimens were five new species – including one that was found growing on the shell of a nautilus more than 2,500 feet (760 metres) below the ocean’s surface.
- Similarly to shallow-water corals that build colourful reefs full of fish, black corals act as important habitats where fish and invertebrates feed and hide from predators in what is otherwise a mostly barren sea floor.
- For example, a single black coral colony researchers collected in 2005 off the coast of California, United States, was home to 2,554 individual invertebrates.
What are Corals?
- Corals are marine invertebrates within the class Anthozoa of the phylum Cnidaria.
- They typically form compact colonies of many identical individual polyps.
- Coral species include the important reef builders that inhabit tropical oceans and secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton.
- A coral “group” is a colony of very many genetically identical polyps. Each polyp is a sac-like animal typically only a few millimeters in diameter and a few centimeters in height.
- A set of tentacles surround a central mouth opening. Each polyp excretes an exoskeleton near the base.
- Over many generations, the colony thus creates a skeleton characteristic of the species which can measure up to several meters in size. Individual colonies grow by asexual reproduction of polyps.
About coral reefs
- Hard corals extract abundant calcium from surrounding seawater and use this to create a hardened structure for protection and growth.
- Coral reefs are therefore created by millions of tiny polyps forming large carbonate structures, and are the basis of a framework and home for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of other species.
- Coral reefs are the largest living structure on the planet, and the only living structure to be visible from space.
Sources – TH