Biome- The Coral Reef in - 19-112

The Great Barrier Reef
By: Kathryn Rieb
Where is it?
The Great Barrier Reef
is in Australia, and is
over 3000 km long,
running almost
parallel to the
Queensland coast.
The Reef is between
15 and 150 km off
shore and around 65
km wide in some
3 animals that live in the Reef
White breast eagles live on
the coast and islands
surrounding or in the Reef.
They have sharp talons to
snatch their prey (fish) out
of the water in midflight,
as they find it hard to take
off from water, and strong
wings to keep them aloof
while swooping down for
their food.
3 animals that live in the Reef
The blue-ringed octopus has little
rings all over it’s body, which
go blue when it feels
threatened. It is only the size
of a golf ball, but has a beak
that can penetrate a wetsuit,
and poison that can kill a fullgrown adult within minutes. It
uses 2 types of venom. One on
its prey, an the other on
predators. It’s not a violent
animal, and will only act in
self-defense. It can blend into
the background to avoid any
3 animals that live in the Reef
The White Tip reef shark is one of the
most commonly found sharks in
the Reef. The ends of it’s fins are
white, thus earning it’s name, and
they are very timid. They will
swim away at the slightest
disturbance and are more afraid
of you then you are of them. You
can usually find them in waters 8
meters deep or more. It has small
teeth, so it’s prey mostly consists of octopuses, crabs and lobsters,
and all kinds of fishes.
3 plants that live in the Reef
Coral. That’s what the Reef is
made of. Coral is a living,
breathing organism, meaning
that the whole Reef is alive!
You’ll usually find coral near
the surface of the ocean as
they need sunlight to produce
energy, so they need it to
survive. They also emerge
from their skeletons at night
to catch the passing
zooplankton, which is another
source of food for them.
3 plants that live in the Reef
Sea anemone is considered the
flower of the sea. It
resembles a harmless
plant, but it really is a
vicious carnivore. It will
attach itself to rocks or
bury itself in mud, then
wait for prey to swim
along. When it does, the
anemone stings it with it’s
tentacles, then eats it.
3 plants that live in the Reef
Seagrass forms an
underwater nursery of a
sort, where fish, lobsters
and other water
creatures of the type can
place their young. The
grass is restricted to
protected lagoons, but
holds a lot of different
marine life.
Temperature- Abiotic Factor
The Reef has a tropical
climate, ranging from 24
to 33 degrees Celsius
during the summer, and
14 to 26 degrees Celsius in
the winter. The warmer
temperature of the Reef
helps the various lifeforms that live there by
allowing them to preserve
their energy for finding
food and shelter instead
of wasting it on keeping
Sand- Abiotic Factor
Sand may not be much to
us, but it is crucial for the
survival of some animals.
For example, the flounder
fish. It is a flat, usually
sandy-colored fish that can
blend in with the sand to
avoid trouble with
predators. Another
example, crabs build their
homes in sand and live here
by digging a hole into it and
sort of burrowing there.
Natural Resources found in the Reef
Well, we humans eat fish,
lobsters and crabs, which all
live in the Reef, and we go
diving there as an
entertainment to see the
underwater life. We also
collect shells for decoration.
Other people drill into the
ground in the Reef for the oil
under it.
How has science helped discover the
Scientists have invented
the scuba gear for diving,
and the oil drill for oil
extraction. Fishing gear,
nets and
dynamite/bombs for
gathering the marine life,
and underwater cameras
to view the Reef on dry
Negative affects of human activities
Usually oil drills result in spills
and that’s harmful to the
environment, cause although
water and oil don’t mix, the oil
floats down to the bottom of the
ocean after a while, and then
the oil contaminates the various
fish, crabs + lobsters and other
small underwater life-forms that
are essential to the food chain.
The oil also will drift to the shore
where it will stick to every rock
and sand particles that it
Negative affects of human activities
Some new methods of fishing
are harmful to the underwater
biome too. Like explosives.
Some fishermen use dynamite
or underwater bombs to blow
up the organisms underwater
and wait for the dead fish to
pop up to the surface and
collect them. But when the
bomb goes off it also destroys the Reef and part of the marine
life’s home, giving the animals
one less place to live.
How has the use of the resources affected
the environment, economics or society?
Most humans eat some sort of fish or
underwater creature, and we are eating
a lot of them. So, if we keep eating fish +
the other stuff, it will disturb the other
food chains because the other predators
need fish to eat to, and if they don’t have
enough to eat then they will die out, and
the chain will go out of order. Also, oil
plays a huge part in our everyday life. It is
used in the roads, cars, skateboards,
cooking, and a whole lot of other stuff as
well, so the companies that have access
to oil will get paid a lot of money. Shells
and other pretty underwater things could
be used in a piece of art for people to
look at and admire, and if it’s nice
enough it will be bought.

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