Just as a sunny getaway goes by all quickly, so did this week—how is it Friday already?! We had a great time virtually traveling to the tropics with you, showing you some of the research we’re doing and offering you fun, educational activities to do at home.

Speaking of activities, we're happy to offer you a couple of bonus, coral-focused activity videos to round out the week. Take a look and learn something new! But before you get started, a few quick coral facts:


First things first: did you know that corals are animals (not plants)? They get that classification because, unlike plants, they don’t manufacture their own food. Instead, they use their tiny, tentacle-esque arms to sweep food from the surrounding water and into their similarly tiny mouths. And, while we tend to think of corals as warm-water animals, they’re also found in Puget Sound. Explore our fact sheet for more!





If we must wave goodbye to our virtual trip to the tropics, at least we can do it while having some fun. Test your smarts below, see how you do, then challenge your friends to beat your score!

  1. True or false? Corals are plants.
  2. True or false? Wrasses can change their sex.
  3. True or false? Corals are found only in the tropics.
  4. True or false? Clownfish are found in Puget Sound.
  5. True or false? Corals create their own colors to match their surroundings.
  6. True or false? The saddle wrasse is only found in Hawaiian waters.
  7. How far below the surface can corals be found?
    A. 10 feet
    B. 100 feet
    C. 1,000 feet
    D. All of the above
  8. True or false? Coral reefs host as much life or more as a tropical rainforest.
  9. You can help sustain healthy tropical reefs by:
    A. Using reef-safe sunscreen.
    B. Eating sustainable seafood.
    C. Reducing the plastics you use.
    D. All of the above.
  10. True or false? The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world.


Here are a few activities you can do on your own—discover even more here!

  • Grab your crayons, colored pencils or markers and get creative with our clownfish and pufferfish coloring sheets.
  • Is it or isn’t it a tropical fish? Learn more on our activity sheet, then test your knowledge!
  • Learn all about blacktip reef sharks with our diagram.
  • Play our coral game! All you need is one die and something to use as a marker.
  • Check out our YouTube channel for an amazing assortment of videos.

PS: Looking for more? Explore our animal fact sheets and infographic library, or check in on our animals in real time with our live webcams.


Our online engagement is for the birds—literally! Next week we’ll be featuring the charming and infinitely interesting birds of the Pacific Northwest, with videos, activities, fun facts and more. Don’t miss it! We’ll post our weekly schedule on Sunday—and remember to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for even more great content.

Trivia answers:

  1. True. Corals are living creatures. Each “coral” is home to hundreds of individual polyps.
  2. True. If the harem contains only females, the dominant female will change to male.
  3. False. Corals are found all over the world, including in the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest.
  4. False. Clownfish are a tropical fish.
  5. False. The skin of corals is clear. They have an algae, called zooxanthellae, that gives them their color.
  6. True. The saddle wrasse is endemic to Hawaii, which means it can only be found there and nowhere else.
  7. D. While tropical coral reefs closer to the surface are iconic, some species of coral are found deep in the ocean, near volcanic vents.
  8. True. Coral reefs are one of the most complex ecosystems on Earth. In fact, they support approximately 25% of all known marine species.
  9. D.
  10. True. It can be seen from space!



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