The Great Barrier Reef is located off the coast of Queensland Australia. The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef going for approximately 344 400 km squared and is composed of 2 900 separate reefs, 900 islands and stretches for 2 300 km in length.
Coral reefs are long lasting solid structures. The Great Barrier Reef is made up of more than 400 species of coral. Those coral are formed from lots of polyps which together form the skeleton of the coral. But coral like this is just white. Coral gets it beautiful colours from the microscopic zooxanthellae which live and grow within the skin of the coral polyps.
The Great Barrier Reef is made up of more than just coral it also provides homes for lots of different fish species along with other see creatures and crustaceans. Fish use coral reefs as a safe place to lay and bring up their young.
It takes hundreds of years for a coral reef to grow and requires specific conditions. For coral to grow the water must be shallow to allow sun light to pass thought the water. Coral also requires a steady water temperature of around 200c any lower and the polyps could begin to die within days. Because these conditions are so choosey we only really see coral reefs in the tropics generally in warm water currents.
Some of the particular species you could find in a coral reef include:
• sea slugs
• sea worms
• starfish and sea urchins
• jellyfish and sea anemones
• various types of fungi
• Sea turtle
• Various types of fish