It is believed that coral reefs have been thriving for millions of years making them one of the most beautiful places in the world. However, it is also one of the most difficult to observe and monitor. For this reason, the average person will not see the vast numbers of marine creatures unless they are diving in to help conserve the coral.
There are two main factors that make up coral reefs, namely water and food. Both are essential to sustain a healthy coral reef and the need to control the population of both has led to authorities creating an incredible amount of resources in order to save the coral reefs around the world. The Great Barrier Reef, for example, receives huge amounts of funding to monitor its health and prevent overpopulation. This is the same reason why there are strict laws about diving to the Great Barrier Reef.
Two Hundred Types Of Marine Animals
Diving can be dangerous because coral reefs are home to over two hundred types of marine animals. There are reef sharks, stingrays, turtles, eels, turtles, manta rays, fish, snails, conches, slugs and other exotic fish. There are more than four thousand varieties of coral plants including the stunning coral polyps. Every coral reef is unique in its own way and provides a different form of viewing the sea. In fact, coral reefs are so diverse that they provide scientists with an endless array of opportunities to study marine animals and plants. This is one of the main reasons that coral reefs are considered to be one of the most important marine ecosystems in the world.
Coral reefs are made up of many different kinds of algae, including sponges, a colourful group of algae called zooxanthellae. These algae cover the top of the water which coral reef fishes like to live on and filter toxic waste from the water. The main food source for the algae is a form of coral sugar known as photosynthates. Photosynthates are essential for marine animals, as it provides them with their energy source.
One of the main problems facing humans living in the vicinity of the coral reef system is that of overfishing. Overfishing can seriously affect the marine ecosystem as well as people directly by leading to massive coral reef die-off. One of the main things that come into effect when the marine ecosystem is disrupted due to overfishing is the loss of oxygen. When oxygen is removed from the water, the fish cannot survive, which effectively destroys the coral reef.
It is interesting to note that sea animals have been found recently living inside a huge coral mass that had been destroyed by someone trying to overfisher. It was discovered in November 2021 and researchers have been working very hard to analyze the samples. It was very difficult for the team to work within the large mass of rock and coral because it was so difficult to access it. When the mass of rock and coral is dissolved in water, there are precious little creatures living in the solution.
The Leatherback Turtle
One of the amazing discoveries made recently has been that of the leatherback turtle. Leatherback turtles are among some of the most diverse sea animals in the world. They live all throughout the world, but they are particularly common in waters around the Caribbean, in the south Atlantic, and along the northwest coast of South America.
This discovery is exciting because it means that there are a large number of sea animals that are not found anywhere else on Earth, which makes for a very diverse environment for them to exist in.
There are many places around the world where sea animals like the leatherback turtle are living. These unique animals provide a valuable food resource for other marine animals, which is what helps to support the coral reef. We know that if we take care of these beautiful sea animals, they will be with us for a very long time. This is why you should make sure that you understand more about sea life if you are going to visit a coral reef, or anywhere else for that matter.