Marine Biology

An Overview of the many Species of Ocean Reef Animals



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The Great Barrier reef is the largest Coral Reef in the world. It is located off of the Australian coast and is a whopping 1,257 miles long! Along these long miles of glittering oceanic waves, there are various types of reef. Reefs are formed by limestone skeletons and located mostly in shallow areas of water, preferring the temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees, provided by the sunlight.

Barrier reefs, however grow further from the shore, and separate the land with deep lagoons. These reefs impend navigation, hence the name barrier. Atolls are formed by growing Coral atop sunken ocean volcanoes. Along these underwater mazes lives hundreds of different species of fish.

Though many kinds of fish are sheltered here, it is a wealth of meek creatures like Starfish (which reside on the ocean floor), Sea Horses, clams, hermit crabs, as well as several other crustaceans. Lobsters, shrimp, crabs as well as conchs reside here.

The krill, plankton, John Dorry, and the clown fish swim around both the hard coral and the soft corals (like sea fingers and sea whips), in attempts of avoiding the predatory fish and birds. The Lemon shark, and Tiger shark hunt for food while the stingray, the jellyfish (who only live for two and a half months), and the angel sharks (who are bottom dwellers and relatively harmless) just kind of hang around.

Squid and Whales can be found here and blue ring octopus (which is a small and venomous), as well as an abundance of zooplankton. Zooplankton is what the majority of sea life feeds on. Sea cows (manatae), and sea turtles, snails, and sea urchins also live near the reefs.

It seems as if all types of species prefer the reefs, yet there are so many that do not consider the reef their homes. But in light of recent years, many coral reefs seem to be dying. Things like water pollution, sedimentation, and dredging are making serious threats to these fragile environments. Though many species reside in this beautiful complex , it remains unclear how solid the future is for the reefs. What does remain, is that the reefs should become more protected within the next few years.

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