Coral Reef habitat
Coral Reefs, which are the world's richest marine habitats, occur in shallow, warm waters where the sea temperature is almost always between 18 to 30 degrees centigrade. Australian coral reefs are found off the coasts of Western Australia and Queensland and grow from about the level of a low spring tide down to a depth of about 40 metres.
When we look at a reef we are, in fact, seeing a thin layer of living coral capping millions of years of accumulated limestone, that is, the accumulated shells and skeletons of sea creature. Fossil evidence suggests that coral reefs have existed on earth for about 450 million years but Queensland Great Barrier Reef is a much newer structure.
Coral Reefs are renown for their abundance and diversity of life and colour. All life forms including coral, plants, anemones, jellyfish, sponges, worms, crabs, sea slugs, giant clams, starfish, sea urchins, fish and turtles create a spectacular marine environment of constant movement and unending variety. The Great Barrier Reef supports 12 species of sea grass and 500 kinds of algae, 400 species of hard corals, 1500 species of fish, 4000 kinds of molluscs (clams, snails ), 7 species of turtle as well as being home to whales, dolphins and dugongs.
Further information about this habitat can be found at these sites:
Animals living in this habitat
The extra threat included in this Menagerie ADD-ON Habitat is:
Climate change - could alter weather patterns including temperatures and precipitation. The sea level may rise.
The extra management strategy included in this Menagerie ADD-ON Habitat is:
Climate change - extensive research into possible ecological impacts of climate change is needed. Educational programs and legislation to reduce greenhouse gasses could reduce global warming.
If you know of any links for any of the above habitat or animals please let us know so we can add them.