One of Australia’s most stunning sights is the the Great Barrier reef. It is blessed with the breathtaking beauty of the world’s largest coral reef. It is a one of the seven wonders of the natural world. Larger than the great wall of China, it is the only living thing on earth visible from space. There are more than 2,900 individual reefsand 900 islands, covering an area of 35,000sq km. Some 400 different varieties of coral, both hard and soft coral,these give the reef it’s amazing array of colours and provide homes for 1,500 types of fish, 4,000 species of mollusc and 350 species of starfish,sea urchins, and unknown types of crustaceans. It comprises of billions of tiny living organisms, known as coral polyps.
The Great Barrier Reef supports a diversity of life, many of them are endangered species. There are thirty species of whales, dolphins and porpoises and six breeds of turtles. Climate change has had a huge impact upon the reef causing coral bleaching and this is also having an impact on other forms of reef life. Other threats to the reef are pollution, shipping accidents, fishing and the ‘crown of thorns’ starfish, which preys on coral polyps.
Official Website – www.greatbarrierreef.org
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