Animals Of The Great Barrier Reef That You May Not Have Heard Of | Kidadl


Animals Of The Great Barrier Reef That You May Not Have Heard Of

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The Great Barrier Reef is one of nature's most astonishing creations, whether looked over from a distance or enjoyed up close.

The iconic scenery of the world's largest coral reef is located on Queensland's east coast, Australia. The reefs treasure over a thousand different species of marine life.

The magic of nature can be seen in some of its most valued creations. The Great Barrier Reef of Australia is a great example, proudly carrying the honor of being one of the world's seven natural wonders. Besides containing rare and unseen varieties of coral reefs, the reef creatures constitute a significant part of the marine hemisphere, with diverse species existing together to create an extraordinary marine ecosystem. However, a place as rich as reefs existing in this age is nothing more than an enigma as climate change is rapidly strengthening its clutch over the world in the shape of rising sea levels, leading species to the verge of extinction. Animals in Iceland and animals in the Arctic Ocean are first to experience the repercussions of this change, yet marine creatures are nowhere safe from it.

The Great Barrier Reef is spread across 344,400 sq km (133,000 sq mi) with 3000 individual reef systems made up of coral polyps, creating a collection of picturesque islands across the coast. While coral varieties and family are simple to find here, marine mammals, rare creatures, and concerned species you possibly may not have heard off are also seen. Brain and staghorn coral are some of the most common types of corals found here in the Great Barrier Reef.

This article will help you get acquainted with such marine residents that are hard to spot and know about. If you enjoy this article, check out animals in Iceland and animals in the Arctic Ocean.

Types Of Animals In The Great Barrier Reef

There are several different species that one can find in the vibrant reefs of Australia.

It is no surprise that the Great Barrier Reef is also known as 'the rainforest of the sea'. The complex reef structures are home to many types of species that are hard to find in any other marine body. Famous for its coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef animals include:

Sea turtles: The Great Barrier Reef has a large variety of turtles in its vibrant underwater ecosystem. From the Endangered species of hawksbill turtle and olive ridley turtle to the commonly found flatback turtle, researchers have confirmed the presence of six species of the widely known seven species of marine turtles.

Sea urchins: These spiky-looking globular species are vastly found in the reefs. Surprisingly, the sea urchins' cute shape hardly speaks of its toxicity as the animal is capable of causing inflammatory reactions due to its venom punching spikes through a simple touch.

Sea anemones: The flower-like sea creature is a predatory plant that resides on the seabed and feeds on small fish that passes by. The stinging tentacles on anemones kill small fish to keep the marine ecological system free of parasites leading to a healthier population of big fish.

Sea snakes: The Great Barrier Reef accounts for over 14 different species of sea snakes. These sea snakes carry vibrant colors that many may confuse for exotic fish. Just like various land species, a sea snake is equally venomous. The snake uses its venom to kill other marine creatures to feed on them.

Jellyfish: The coastal waters are also home to a fascinating creature that is equally lethal. Jellyfish are a common animal found in the depths of the Barrier Reef. Box jellyfish and Irukandji jellyfish are the most commonly found species. These two are capable of drawing severe harmful implications on the victim of their sting. As harmless as they may seem, their tentacles leave stinging cells on the attacked area, readily spreading venom to weaken the victim. As a result, jellyfish are one of the most dangerous sea creatures found within the Barrier Reef.

Fish: The most commonly found species of marine animal has to be fish. The Great Barrier Reef is a family of over 1,500 different fish species, including potato cods. As small as an adorable clownfish or the majestic and dangerous great white sharks, the reef is full of vibrant fish people often witness and enjoy through their underwater trips.

Marine Life In The Great Barrier Reef

Just like the rainforests adorn the planet with their complex ecosystem, the Great Barrier Reef takes it a step further, with thousands of marine lives yet to be discovered. The marine ecosphere in the Great Barrier Reef is unmatched and plays a significant role in maintaining diversity in the ecosystem.

Along with being a source of diversity, the coastal region is one of the biggest carbon sinks globally, mitigating the hazardous effect of the current climate crisis. It homes over a thousand different marine creatures under the shed of its beautiful hard coral beds. The reef is also a significant source of tourist attraction in Australia, and an advantage to the Australian economy with all the monetary benefits it garners each year for the country. From algae to gigantic marine species, every creature contributes to its growth, sustainability, and natural richness, making the Great Barrier Reef an extremely important natural heritage.

Marine ecosystems are thriving around the Great Barrier Reef.

Dolphins And Whales

A humpback whale, common minke whales, and dolphins are a common sight in the Great Barrier Reef. Warm waters of the reef are an excellent promoter of small fish growth, leading to more food for dolphins and whales. Surprisingly, these two large mammals can be found in 30 diverse species in the reefs!

Starfish And Sea Cucumbers

Amidst the diverse marine ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef, there are multiple odd-looking creatures too. Sea cucumbers, and sea stars, also known as starfish, are a few commonly found species of the Great Barrier Reef. These are protected by hard corals allowing their growth around predatory reef animals too.

Great Barrier Reef Species Diversity

Hardly any other marine ecosystem in the globe contains as much diversity as the Great Barrier Reef. A carnival of species, plants, and microorganisms, this space has been an extraordinary vision for anyone who visited the blues of coral reef. The Great Barrier reef is home to sea turtles, sea snakes, coral trout, the manta ray, and many more. Experiencing this abundance of marine beauty is an exhilarating opportunity that every human must witness at least once in their life. Creatures such as saltwater crocodiles and sharks are also found here.

Unfortunately, the depleting well-being of this ecosystem might take away a lot of such significant creatures and aspects before the generation can even hear about them. Marine species of the reef are being pushed on the verge of extinction due to global warming. Let us learn about the species that come under conservation.

Species Of Conservation Concern

Species of conservation concerns comprise species close to extinction. The Great Barrier Reef is a haven for many species of conservation concern due to its rich marine ecosystem.

Marine animals such as whales, sharks, dugongs are among the Endangered and Critically Endangered species. Turtles such as leatherback turtle and green turtle have the status Vulnerable and Endangered, respectively. Authorities, including state and federal governments, are taking strict steps to improve the numbers and allow these species to return to the Least Concern rate.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for animals of the great barrier reef, then why not take a look at animals that live in Death Valley or animals in Iran?

<p>With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature.&nbsp;</p>

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