Articles on Coral reefs

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A three-banded clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) navigates the anemones of the Andaman Coral Reef, India. Ritiks/Wikipedia

Why does Nemo the clownfish have three white stripes? The riddle solved at last

Our children all know the little clownfish Nemo, star of the Pixar film. But why does he have three stripes, rather than one or two? Developmental and evolutionary biology are revealing the answer.
Successive governments have seen the Great Barrier Reef not just as a scientific wonder, but as a channel to further economic development. Superjoseph/Shutterstock.com

Politicised science on the Great Barrier Reef? It’s been that way for more than a century

The $444 million awarded to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation has been criticised as a politically calculated move. But governments have been asking what the reef can do for them ever since colonial times.
Silent Evolution by Jason deCaires Taylor. Taylor makes sculptures and sinks them beneath the sea to create artificial reefs. © Jason deCaires Taylor

The science and art of reef restoration

Not everything humans put in the ocean is garbage. From walls of tyres to sunken sculptures, reef restoration is both a science and an art.
A life reconstruction of Brindabellaspis stensioi, an unusual placoderm fish from the 400-million-year old Burrinjuck reef in New South Wales, Australia. Jason Art, Shenzhen

Fossil fish with platypus-like snout shows that coral reefs have long been evolution hotspots

Brindabellaspis had eyes on the top of the head, facing upwards, and a skull stretched into a long and broad snout. Although around 400 million years old, it was clearly a specialised fish.
Ingredients in many sunscreens are bleaching coral and harming marine life. www.shutterstock.com

Making a cleaner, greener, environmentally safe sunscreen

Scientists have discovered a natural sunscreen – made by microbes – that may be better for humans and the marine critters they are hoping to see.
Boat noise can interfere with the underwater communication of fishes and other marine animals. Unsplash

The fishy problem of underwater noise pollution

The noise from motor boats, sonar and other industrial activity interferes with the underwater chatter of fishes.
The increasingly bleached coral at Black Point on the Cobourg Peninsula is a worrying sign of what’s to come for other coral reefs in Australia. Alan Withers

New coral bleaching outbreak in NT a worrying sign of our warming oceans

Coral bleaching has struck the Northern Territory, adding urgency to the need for better national management strategies for our warming oceans.
Researchers studied reef sands at Heron Island, Hawaii, Bermuda and Tetiaroa. In this photo, white areas show the predominance of sand on reefs. Southern Cross University

Our acid oceans will dissolve coral reef sands within decades

Ocean acidification poses an increasing threat to the sediments that form the framework of coral reefs - within around 30 years, these carbonate sands may no longer be able to form.

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