Looking back on the Earth from space, mankind is able to see the impact humanity has made on Nature itself. But few wonders of man are as impressive as the Great Barrier Reef, a wonder made by Nature alone. The incredible biodiversity of this natural creation is a thing to behold.
As the only living collection of creatures that can be seen from outer space, the Great Barrier Reef holds a special place in the hearts of humankind. The reef is a colony of organisms coexisting together to eat, feed and grow. Unlike forests and grasslands and other natural feats of Nature, the reef itself is alive and having a relationship that impacts the world in so many great ways.
A reef is a colony of corals that have built upon the hard skeletons left behind by their predecessors. Living coral has a bony exoskeleton itself, but by building on the ‘bones’ or shells of those who have come before, it grows. Corals in the Great Barrier Reef might have dome shapes to their colonies, might have branches like trees or might just be a multitude of small tubes coming together to form a different shape. Growing larger at a rate of one point three centimeters may not seem like a lot but to a coral colony, it’s a good growth rate.
Individual coral colony members are called polyps, and are made up of a clear body that usually harbors algae. That’s where most coral gets its colour from. Coral polyps are related to sea anemones and jellyfish. By giving the algae a safe home in shallow water, the algae is able to turn sunlight into sugars that can be used by the coral for energy. The interdependency of these species on the Great Barrier Reef is just one of the things that makes this natural wonder so special.
Many different types of creatures live in the Great Barrier Reef besides corals. Rare and exotic fish that aren’t seen anywhere else live, feed and breed on the reef. The waving fields of sea grass on the reef feed dugongs and sea turtles, of which there are many endangered species. Salt water crocodiles live in the mangroves and along the coastline where the reef mingles with the land of Australia in salt marshes. There are approximately thirty species of whales, dolphins and porpoises that call this reef home including the dwarf minke whale and the endangered humpback whale.
Because the Great Barrier Reef is so important to the ecology of the whole world, donating clean ocean water and moderating temperatures ocean wide by its biodiversity and corals, it is slowly becoming more and more protected. The Australian cities that are near the reef each have different mandates that govern how the reef is used. There is no doubt that the Great Barrier Reef is a hot tourist attraction, but the goal is to minimize the impact humans leave on the reef when they drop anchor, go scuba diving or fish in the area. Approximately two million people visit the reef every year. Such a popular tourist destination must be protected for future generations, so that the children of tomorrow can come and safely view the Great Barrier Reef through glass bottom boats, eco-friendly snorkeling and diving, and see such a wonder of nature for themselves.
Read important knowledge about the topic of luxury vacation home – study the web site. The times have come when concise info is really within your reach, use this opportunity.