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Listed under:  Science  >  Earth and space  >  Landforms  >  Reefs  >  Coral reefs
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Creatures of the coral reef

Dive into the busy and colourful world of the coral reef. Explore some of the many animals that live in the shallow waters of the reef. See how they catch food and make their homes there.

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Can coral reefs survive?

Coral reefs are one of the world's most diverse ecosystems and they're often called the 'rainforests of the oceans'. Find out where the world's coral reefs are concentrated and why they are so important for marine life, the coastal environment and people. Also discover some of the threats to coral reefs around the world.

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Threats to coral reefs: what are they?

Coral reefs are in trouble. Though important ecologically and vital for local communities, they're facing a range of serious threats. Listen to a panel of scientific and community experts discussing the human and natural factors that stress coral reefs around the world. Find out the recipe for how to kill a reef. Then learn ...

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Why are coral reefs important?

Coral reefs contain a high biodiversity of marine life and they're vital natural assets for coastal communities and cultures. In this clip you will hear from a panel of scientific and community experts as they discuss the importance of coral reefs to billions of people around the world. Discover some perspectives on the ...

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Ellison Reef: has it been saved?

Ellison Reef, part of the Great Barrier Reef, is located off the coast of Mission Beach in North Queensland. In 1981, after years of court battles, the entire Great Barrier Reef became a protected World Heritage Site. But, after three decades of protection, the reef is still dying. What action is required to save one of ...

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Island hopping in a tropical paradise

The Whitsunday Islands, a collection of continental islands close to the mainland, were created when sea levels rose and flooded the valleys. These tropical Queensland islands are a haven for many plant, bird and reptile species. Take a tour of the Whitsundays and the surrounding Great Barrier Reef and see the different landforms.

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An island where warm waters meet cool

Lord Howe Island lies off the east coast of Australia where warm, tropical seas meet cool currents from the south. Here, a mix of fish suited to warmer waters live together with fish suited to the cooler southern waters. Lord Howe Island has many reasons to be protected, such as being home to the world's most southern coral ...

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The world's largest living organism

The Great Barrier Reef is a collection of large coral reefs that stretch for more than 2,000 km along the Queensland coast. The Reef is home to a huge number of plants and animals, and it has many islands and coral cays. Watch nesting turtles and go underwater to see spectacular footage of reef creatures. Discover more ...

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Manta rays indicate health of coral reefs

Coral reefs are the second most endangered species on the planet. Meet a group of researchers who are tracking individual manta rays to help them assess the health of Australia's reef ecosystem. Find out how the manta ray can be used as a bioindicator for the health of the reef. See how scientists identify individual manta ...

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Reef of life

This clip argues that every day the wellbeing of millions of people is dependent on the existence of healthy coral reefs. Through a stunning series of underwater videos and photographs find out more about current threats to coral reefs and how individual's actions on land can make a difference to the overall health of the ...

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Ocean change affects symbiotic relationship

Polyps are the miniature architects of coral reefs. Find out about the relationship between polyps and an alga, Zooxanthellae. How does each benefit and what causes the coral to eject the Zooxanthellae with often devastating results? View the clip to find out.

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Coral reefs fading fast

Coral reefs represent a unique partnership between two separate organisms. It's an amazing symbiosis that has thrived for millions of years. But right now, the effects of climate change threaten the reefs on a global scale due to coral bleaching. Find out what causes this phenomenon and the significance of carbon dioxide ...

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Meet the creatures of the coral reef

Dive into the busy and colourful world of the coral reef. Explore some of the many animals that live in the shallow waters of the reef. See how they catch food and make their homes there.

Teacher resource

Climate change and coral reefs: teacher guide

This teacher guide provides educators with comprehensive materials, classroom activities and ongoing opportunities for their students to understand, and act to reduce, the problem of climate change on coral reefs. The guide is intended for use with five video modules led by world-renowned coral biologist Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg ...

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Types of coral reproduction

Coral reef expert Professor Peter Harrison discusses sexual and asexual types of reproduction in coral reefs. Footage of living reefs together with animations are used to illustrate the differences between sexual and asexual reproduction.

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Coral reproduction patterns

Coral reef expert Professor Peter Harrison discusses the complexities of coral reef reproduction patterns. Footage of living reefs with animation illustrates patterns of developing larvae, and dispersal and attachment on and between reefs.

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What damages and stresses coral reefs?

In this clip, coral reef scientist Professor Peter Harrison responds to a request by Dr Kiki Sanford to outline specific natural and human-induced factors that stress coral reefs. He then explains that a combination of both natural and chronic human stressors is leading to a decline of coral reef systems around the world.

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Gaps in understanding of coral reef ecology

In this clip, coral reef scientist Professor Peter Harrison explains that there are still huge gaps in our knowledge of coral reef ecology. He states that one of the key concerns among researchers is how corals are likely to respond to a changing climate that is causing sea temperatures to rise and ocean chemistry to change. ...

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The future of coral reefs

In this clip, Dr Kiki Sanford asks coral reef scientist Professor Peter Harrison whether he sees a bleak future for the world’s coral reefs. He replies that, although the overall health of coral reefs worldwide will probably continue to decline, there is much reason for hope that at least some coral reef communities will ...

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Animal weapons: reef stonefish

This is a colour clip showing how the reef stonefish ('Synanceia verrucosa') captures its prey. The reef stonefish uses camouflage to appear like an algae-encrusted rock or piece of coral. When unsuspecting fish come close enough the reef stonefish can lunge and engulf its prey in one-25th of a second. This is an energy-efficient ...