Describe The Great Barrier Reef

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Matthew Flinders and Captain James Cook are the reason we know the great barrier reef exists. Captain James Cook was the first person to record the existence of a reef as he sailed up the eastern coast. He first noticed shoals in the area of the Great Keppel Island. Matthew Flinders was an English navigator and cartographer who was the first to explore the entire Australian coastline and named the Extensive Barrier Reef, today known as The Great Barrier Reef. The name is unique because it describes exactly what the Great Barrier Reef is. It is considered to be great because it’s the longest and largest coral reef in the world. The reef acts as a massive natural barrier protecting the coastline by separating it with a deep channel of water.…show more content…
The crown-of-thorns starfish eat the living coral causing the color of the central reefs to be reduced. Red Algae forms the purplish red rim which happens to be known as one of the Great Barrier Reef’s most characteristic feature. Sponges are essential to the ecological function because they occupy a position near the base of the food chain. Providing nutrients for complex animals such as sea turtles, angelfish, sea slugs and starfish. Warm climate and refreshing sea breezes all year round allows The Great Barrier Reef to flourish and be…show more content…
The original coral reefs started forming sometime between 58 and 48 million years ago. Over an extensive period of time the reefs got destroyed and then later reformed. When Australia drifted to its present position, the sea levels were altered prohibiting the formation of more coral reefs. The first generation of reefs died due to changes in sea level and climate. The second generation started when new coral begins to grow on top of the remains of the older reef. Coral is very sensitive to changes in temperature, nutrient and water quality. Change in the water temperature is known to stress the coral and cause coral

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