Soft Corals

Coral movements disperse oxygen, according to a report in Inside JEB 9 August 2019 and Journal of Experimental Biology 9 August 2019 doi:10.1242/jeb.192518.

Scientists in Israel have studied soft corals named Heteroxenia, which grow in the red sea. These corals have crown of feathery tentacles, arranged like a flower, that constantly fold and unfold in a pulsating rhythm.  It had been assumed that this movement was to capture food particles from the water, but food particles are rarely found in in the corals’ guts.  However, the movements are provably needed for the corals’ well-being because they fail to thrive if they are immobilised.

The reason turned out to be the productivity of the symbiotic algae that live in the corals. Algae in motionless corals only produced a fifth of the sugars from photosynthesis as pulsating corals.

The researchers made high speed videos of the coral movement and the flow of water around the pulsating crown using microscopic beads that reflected light. They then analysed these and created a computer simulation of the movement and the water flow.  They found the coral movements were pulling fresh water over and between the tentacles, mixing it with stale water above the coral and ejecting away from the coral.  This resulted in oxygen from photosynthesis being removed by the outgoing water in exchange for nutrients in the incoming water.

If oxygen builds up around plant cells they slow down the rate of photosynthesis, so this movement is good for both the algae and the coral. The researchers commented that manipulation of flowing water by aquatic organisms, and flowing air by land dwelling organisms is used to exchange nutrients and waste products and heat in other animals and plants.

Inside JEB

Editorial Comment:  How amazing.  Come on evolutionists you are actually saying that simple, brainless corals have come up with a brilliant piece of fluid dynamics that took a team of intelligent scientists and engineers with a computer to work out.  Those scientists who created the computer model should be giving honour to the Creator of the coral and algae who designed and made the real thing.

Furthermore, the coral movement is of no use without the symbiotic algae, and also enriches the surrounding environment by distributing oxygen. This is yet another reminder that God created functioning ecosystems, where living organisms work together for mutual benefit. Biologists are beginning to recognise that symbiosis and cooperation are the norm, not exceptions.  This is no surprise to us, as Genesis clearly states that in the beginning God made everything very good.  Darwin’s “war of nature” did not come into the living world until after the Fall of Man, and particularly after Noah’s Flood.  In spite of the degeneration that has occurred in the living world, we can still look with awe and wonder at the brilliant design we find, even in tiny simple organisms.

Evidence News vol. 19 No. 14
28 August 2019
Creation Research Australia

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