Corals have thrived in the sea since for
more than 450 million years but some of the earlier types may
not actually have been directly related to modern corals. These
first appeared about 225 million years ago. The animal itself
is like a sea anemone that builds a tube of limestone around itself.
Corals may be solitary or live in large groups, sometimes forming
reefs. In Ireland they are especially common in the Carboniferous
Limestone, about 340 million years old.
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