Chasing Coral GLARING ERRORS

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by jrwoltman, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. jrwoltman

    jrwoltman Active Member

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    Let me start by stating that I am a 5th grade teacher and my whole science curriculum is biology, including believe it or not, a very small section on coral. However, this in no way, shape, or form makes me any kind of expert on anything, just very passionate, especially when glaring scientific errors are made.

    The self stated goal of Chasing Coral is to educate the public about the crisis facing coral today, which the documentary does, but with two glaring factual inaccuracies. As a teacher, this obviously drives me insane, and yes, I am a grammar freak too.

    1. No coral have plants symbiotically growing within them. What a coral does have symbiotically growing within it are zooxanthellae, which are not plants, but in fact are protists. Algae is also a protist. Most people are oblivious to this.

    2. Every single coral polyp is an individual animal, even though they might be in a large colony, they are not one animal, but many.

    Okay, haters, tell me that this is not a big deal, or so what, but your sentiments would be wrong. America's science literacy is far behind the rest of the industrialized world, and misinformation like this is one big reason why.

    Jim
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2017

  2. reeferfoxx

    reeferfoxx Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    I was literally trying to get this movie to show on my firestick but fell into latency issues. Aside from that, I agree with your above assessment. Can't wait to see it..
     
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  3. tgp4274

    tgp4274 Well-Known Member R2R Secret Santa

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    ok uuummmmm what movie???
     
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  4. PSLReefer

    PSLReefer Active Member

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    Pretty sure most people know this, hence the 5th grade reference... Not sure why your posting something to invoke an argument or you feel special as a 5th grade teacher. Idk. A college professor, scientist, biologist would catch my attention more.
     
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  5. Reefrookie220

    Reefrookie220 Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    So for example, a colony of 200 heads of hammers is 20p different animals, even though they share a skeletal structure.?

    Learn something new every day
     
  6. XNavyDiver

    XNavyDiver Insightful answer loading... please wait. R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    I'm like you. I love science and hate when people dumb things down for a general public that more and more is science illiterate.
    Science is hard and many subjects require hard work and discipline to truly understand. The language of science is mathematics and fewer and fewer young people are drawn into the field of study instead choosing more "subjective" fields of study ... this line of thought will lead me into an off topic rant, so I'll end it here.
     
  7. Katrina71

    Katrina71 Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award R2R Secret Santa Hospitality Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I totally see your point. My 4th grader knew half of what you just pointed out and even brought it up.
     
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  8. m88a2

    m88a2 Active Member

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    I doubt people outside this hobby know general facts about corals let alone nuance like the OP stated.
     
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  9. Tristren

    Tristren Well-Known Member Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    That was my understanding as well. But the scientist that explained it to the documentarian (Dr. Ruth Gates, Director of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology) was pretty explicit. It wasn't an offhand comment or that she misspoke. It was "you mean each polyp is not it's own animal?" "No, they are part of an animal".

    So it doesn't seem like it was a mistake.

    I wonder if it is a definition thing that has to do with how they are connected. It may be something like Pando:
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pando_(tree)

    Though I thought that Algae was a plant as well. It isn't in that Kingdom?

    Tony
     
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  10. Tristren

    Tristren Well-Known Member Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    Chasing Coral, a documentary that came out on Netflix last month about coral bleaching.
     
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  11. CastAway

    CastAway Prone to wander, never lost. R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    Zooxanthellae are actually single-celled dinoflagellates!

    [Drops mic]
     
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  12. jrwoltman

    jrwoltman Active Member

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    I agree with you on how she presented it, but she was wrong. She is also the one who kept saying that coral have plants inside of them. Algae is in Kingdom Protista.
     
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  13. jrwoltman

    jrwoltman Active Member

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    In Kingdom Protista, you may have your mic back. ;)
     
  14. jrwoltman

    jrwoltman Active Member

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    Yep.
     
  15. reeferfoxx

    reeferfoxx Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    Protista can't be animal, plant or fungus.

    That isn't what I ment..

    Anyway, back to what I was trying to say.. If the documentary is trying to make a point, I think it's best the use accurate information. Until then, it's fake news ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
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  16. m88a2

    m88a2 Active Member

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    are the polyp's relationships similar to those jellyfish that are actually made of several "individuals" and differentiate upon assimilation?
     
  17. GHsaltie

    GHsaltie Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader

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    I haven't gotten time to watch the movie yet, however I feel your frustration @jrwoltman. Discrepancies like that bug me to no end, especially coming from a source that aught to know better. This country and its people need the complicated version instead of dumbing everything down. I can only hope though that there will be people inspired by this documentary enough to strive for greater knowledge and preservative action.
     
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  18. jrwoltman

    jrwoltman Active Member

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    I honestly do not know. :(
     
  19. N4sty T4te

    N4sty T4te Active Member

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    I thought she said that they were an individual animal, but they were also part of a larger animal.

    I feel on stony corals, that his is somewhat accurate since the polyps are interconnected by tissue. If you **** off one part of the colony, the surranding polyps react as well.

    I think they were explaining Coral in basic terms. The audience was intended to be for people who didn't know that much, not for people like us.

    On the plant thing, again, this is the best way to explain it to the intended audience.
     
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  20. Cory

    Cory Valuable Member R2R Supporter Article Contributor

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    you have to ask yourself what was the purpose of wording it that way?
     
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