Coral Reefs: Nature's Wonders

Front Cover
Western Australian Museum, 2005 - Nature - 289 pages
0 Reviews
An introduction to the coral reef biology and ecology in a full-color identification guide to the better-known corals of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic.

Corals have for too long been regarded as interesting natural mementos, usually put on display on a shelf or in a glass cabinet, rather than as living animals, part of a captivating and delicately balanced ecological system. Today, scuba diving has provided a way for naturalists to study coral reefs as living ecological communities and for the sport diver to recognise many corals that were only known as dead display specimens.

True reef-building corals are limited in geographical distribution to the clear, warm sunlit waters of the tropical oceans. There are countless reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific region and Australia's Great Barrier Reef is the largest, and most spectacular, coral reef province in the world. About 2000 kilometres long and located on Queensland's continental shelf, it is made up of over 2900 individual coral reefs composed mainly of consolidated limestone debris formed from calcium carbonate with living corals on its surface. They vary in size, form and type, and the coral reef could be considered as the marine counterpart of a tropical rain forest.

Other barrier reefs are located in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans, but most of these are much smaller.

Coral Reefs - Nature's Wonders provides an introduction to the coral reef biology and ecology in a full-colour identification guide to the better-known coral genera of this region. It will take you into the tranquil underwater world of subdued sunlight, living coral colonies, brilliantly coloured fishes, sponges, algae, cowries and giant clams. It is this combination of marine life that gives the coral reefs their mystique.

This book brings home to us the fragility of the whole coral community in its exposure to danger, not only from adverse sea and weather conditions, but also from other inhabitants of the marine environment. Hopefully it will help us appreciate the need to conserve and protect the world's coral reefs.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Foreword by Sir David Bellamy
Reef Corals 17
Scleractinian Corals 67

5 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

1848 Common name Acropora algae animals aqualung Ardmair areas Australia Barrier Reef black coral Blainville bleaching Brain Coral branches brown brownish calcareous calcium carbonate camera cays centimetres Characteristics Common close-up coelenterate colour Common name Common name Soft Common name Star coral bleaching coral polyps coral reef corallites cream crown-of-thorns starfish cyanide fishing damage Dana Daniel Solander divers diving E-mail Edwards & Haime Ehrenberg encrusting Family fish French Polynesia fringing reef Fuga Island Fungia gametes GBRMPA Genus gorgonians Gray green greenish grey grow growth form Habitat Common Habitat Reef Habitat Reef flat Habitat Reef slopes Hans Hass hard corals Heron Island However Indo-Pacific Indonesia Island J.E.N. Veron Jean Deas Jean-Michel Cousteau lagoon Lamarck larvae Linnaeus living corals Lizard Island Lobophyllia hemprichii locations Lord Howe Island Luzon marine Marine Conservation Society massive metres Millepora Miyako Islands Montipora Moso Island Mushroom Coral name Soft Coral name Star Coral nematocyst Nikonos Okinawa orange Papua New Guinea Pavona Pemuteran Philippines Photograph photosynthesis pileus Pillar Coral pink plankton planula protected purple Queensland Red Sea reef slopes reef-building corals ReefBase rounded colonies Rumi Scientific name scientists sclerites scuba scuba diver sea anemones Sea Fan Sea Pen Sea Whip Sha'ab shallow skeleton slopes and lagoon snorkelers Soft Coral spawn species spicules Spinner dolphins staghorn staghorn corals Star Coral starfish stony corals Stylaster Suakin Sudan symbiotic Symphyllia tabulate coral Tahiti tentacles terpenes tiny tissue tourism Trondheimsfjorden tropical Tutuba Umax Uncommon underwater underwater photography usually Valerie Taylor Vanuatu Veron Verrill West Sulawesi yellow zooplankton zooxanthellae

About the author (2005)

Walter Deas

Jean Deas

Bibliographic information