Colonial coral cf. Orbicella

cf. Orbicella (†)

Colonial coral, likely from genus Orbicella, as seen in section into the limestone rock in the area of Els Tres Salts, by the river Llobregat valley in the municipality of Talamanca.

Still Orbicella builds up massive coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea. However, the coral reefs are nowadays in regression because the global change that acidifies the oceans –so troubling the secretion of skeletons of calcium carbonate- and increases the number and intensity of hurricanes.

Fossil colonial corals display that the layer of limestone in Els Tres Salts is originated by a coral reef in a shallow sea with tropical climate in the period Eocene. If we went back 40 million years without moving, we’d find a coral barrier of a Caribbean coast instead of the river Llobregat.

[photo Jordi Badia]