Watamu Marine National Reserve, Watamu
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Watamu 80202
Coast Province, Kenya
+254 20 600800
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Watamu Marine National Reserve, established in 1968 and declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1979, is one of the best places in Kenya for diving and snorkeling. The marine park includes a variety of habitats - fringing reefs, coral gardens, coral cliffs, sandy beaches, tidal mud flats and mangrove swamps. It is home to a myriad of marine life including stony corals, crustaceans, invertebrates, and more than 600 species of fish. The coral gardens, the main attraction at Watamu Marine Park, are an easy swim from the beach. Spy on parrotfish, filefish, guitarfish and grouper. Spot manta rays, mako sharks, green turtles and pickhandle barracudas. See nearly 150 types of hard and soft coral. Take a glass bottom boat tour. Snorkel in an underwater circus. Explore one or more of the reserve's twenty dive sites.
Mushroom Coral Facts

There are lots of fun facts about mushroom corals. Did you know that?

  • Mushroom coral is the common name for the Fungiidae family of stony corals. There are some 40 species in this family of Cnidaria.
  • Mushrooms corals have a rib-like surface that resembles the underside of a mushroom cap hence the name Fungiidae.
  • Mushroom corals have one giant polyp and are among the largest known corals. They have short brown or green tentacles that are extended at night.
  • Mushroom corals inhabit the flats and slopes of coral reefs. They are found only in the Indo-Pacific, the bodies of water from Kenya to Hawaii.
  • Mushroom corals are, in general, solitary and free-living meaning they grow and live alone and are unattached to the ocean floor.
  • Mushroom corals may not win a race with a sailfish yet these stony corals are actually mobile.
  • Mushroom corals feed on zooplankton and the food produced by their symbiotic algae through the process of photosynthesis.
  • Mushroom corals are sequential hermaphrodites meaning they are able to change gender.
  • Mushroom corals provide a habitat for small marine animals such as shrimp, barnacles and worms.
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