Although Coral looks very much like colorful oceanic plant life, coral is actually an animal! Baby coral looks like little jelly fish floating in the water until it finds a hard place to attach to. Once it lands and attaches, it builds itself a shell of limestone. The shell is shaped like a round vase and the coral polyp lives inside. A coral reef is about a million of these animals, stuck one atop the other. There are over 500 species of coral.