The Great Barrier Reef. By: Kathryn Rieb. Where is it?. The Great Barrier Reef is in Australia, and is over 3000 km long, running almost parallel to the Queensland coast. The Reef is between 15 and 150 km off shore and around 65 km wide in some parts. .
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The Great Barrier Reef
By: Kathryn Rieb
The Great Barrier Reef is in Australia, and is over 3000 km long, running almost parallel to the Queensland coast. The Reef is between 15 and 150 km off shore and around 65 km wide in some parts.
White breast eagles live on the coast and islands surrounding or in the Reef. They have sharp talons to snatch their prey (fish) out of the water in midflight, as they find it hard to take off from water, and strong wings to keep them aloof while swooping down for their food.
The blue-ringed octopus has little rings all over it’s body, which go blue when it feels threatened. It is only the size of a golf ball, but has a beak that can penetrate a wetsuit, and poison that can kill a full-grown adult within minutes. It uses 2 types of venom. One on its prey, an the other on predators. It’s not a violent animal, and will only act in self-defense. It can blend into the background to avoid any dangers.
The White Tip reef shark is one of the most commonly found sharks in the Reef. The ends of it’s fins are white, thus earning it’s name, and they are very timid. They will swim away at the slightest disturbance and are more afraid of you then you are of them. You can usually find them in waters 8 meters deep or more. It has small teeth, so it’s prey mostly consists of octopuses, crabs and lobsters, and all kinds of fishes.
Coral. That’s what the Reef is made of. Coral is a living, breathing organism, meaning that the whole Reef is alive! You’ll usually find coral near the surface of the ocean as they need sunlight to produce energy, so they need it to survive. They also emerge from their skeletons at night to catch the passing zooplankton, which is another source of food for them.
Sea anemone is considered the flower of the sea. It resembles a harmless plant, but it really is a vicious carnivore. It will attach itself to rocks or bury itself in mud, then wait for prey to swim along. When it does, the anemone stings it with it’s tentacles, then eats it.
Seagrass forms an underwater nursery of a sort, where fish, lobsters and other water creatures of the type can place their young. The grass is restricted to protected lagoons, but holds a lot of different marine life.
The Reef has a tropical climate, ranging from 24 to 33 degrees Celsius during the summer, and 14 to 26 degrees Celsius in the winter. The warmer temperature of the Reef helps the various life-forms that live there by allowing them to preserve their energy for finding food and shelter instead of wasting it on keeping warm.
Sand may not be much to us, but it is crucial for the survival of some animals. For example, the flounder fish. It is a flat, usually sandy-colored fish that can blend in with the sand to avoid trouble with predators. Another example, crabs build their homes in sand and live here by digging a hole into it and sort of burrowing there.
Well, we humans eat fish, lobsters and crabs, which all live in the Reef, and we go diving there as an entertainment to see the underwater life. We also collect shells for decoration.Otherpeople drill into the ground in the Reef for the oil under it.
Scientists have invented the scuba gear for diving, and the oil drill for oil extraction. Fishing gear,nets and dynamite/bombs for gathering the marine life, and underwater cameras to view the Reef on dry land.
Usually oil drills result in spills and that’s harmful to the environment, cause although water and oil don’t mix, the oil floats down to the bottom of the ocean after a while, and then the oil contaminates the various fish, crabs + lobsters and other small underwater life-forms that are essential to the food chain. The oil also will drift to the shore where it will stick to every rock and sand particles that it touches.
Some new methods of fishing are harmful to the underwater biome too. Like explosives. Some fishermen use dynamite or underwater bombs to blow up the organisms underwater and wait for the dead fish to pop up to the surface and collect them. But when the bomb goes off it also destroys the Reef and part of the marine life’s home, giving the animals one less place to live.
Most humans eat some sort of fish or underwater creature, and we are eating a lot of them. So, if we keep eating fish + the other stuff, it will disturb the other food chains because the other predators need fish to eat to, and if they don’t have enough to eat then they will die out, and the chain will go out of order. Also, oil plays a huge part in our everyday life. It is used in the roads, cars, skateboards, cooking, and a whole lot of other stuff as well, so the companies that have access to oil will get paid a lot of money. Shells and other pretty underwater things could be used in a piece of art for people to look at and admire, and if it’s nice enough it will be bought.