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The Wonders of the Great Barrier Reef Essay

Marine life has always been one of the greatest wonders in the world. For the longest time, both marine plants and animals have peacefully inhabited the bottom of the sea, and contributing much to the beauty of the environment. Two of the most interesting reefs in the world are the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and the Lakshadweep Reef in India. Although these two ecosystems are similar in numerous ways, their way of living and the inhabitants found in each still differ, making them unique and extraordinary from each other.

Considered as the largest coral reef in the world, the Great Barrier Reef is composed of an estimated 2,900 corals that also serves as home to numerous plants and animals. The smallest to the largest animals are said to inhabit the said reef, with their existence serving as the distinctive mark of the Great Barrier Reef. One of the famous inhabitants is the Dugong (CRC Reef Research Center, n. d. ). Also known as the Sea Cow, the Dugong is a vegetarian mammal found mostly in the waters of the Indian and the Pacific Oceans, the Red Sea, and Australian sea beds.

These endangered mammals are large in size, and are said to swim through the different flora found in the seabed. Before heading for the surface, Dugongs can last a total of six minutes underwater. They are mostly seen in pairs, and are often seen gathering in groups, also known as herds. Similar to humans, Dugongs only carry one calf during pregnancy, which lasts for a year. After birth, young Sea Cows stay with the mother for a year and a half, before embarking on their own.

Because of their immense appearance, the Dugong becomes a primary target of illegal fishermen and hunters. The meat, oil, skin, and other parts of the Dugong’s body may be sold individually for a huge amount of money. Unfortunately, these factors have contributed much to the increasing number of demand for the said endangered animals (National Geographic, Society, 2009). Aside from animals, a wide variety of plant life also exists in the sea beds of the Great Barrier Reef. Like the plants on land, marine plants play an important role in the existence of marine animals.

These plants are normally employed as food for the marine animals, and are also used the main habitat of numerous animals. One of the most abundant types of marine plants in the sea beds of the Great Barrier Reef is the Algae (Facts Monk, n. d. ). Different types of marine algae exist in the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef. These include the red, blue, brown, and green algae. Although these floras are simple in consistency, they play an important role in maintaining the balance of nature and the ecosystem.

The existence of algae in the Great Barrier Reef has a great impact on how living creatures were able to co-exist with each other. Because of the human disturbance witnessed by the Great Barrier Reef for the last couple of years, some of the marine animals have become endangered, if not extinct. However, the growth of algae in the bruised corals in the seabed has become beneficial in the growth of corals, which also contribute in helping balance the ecosystem (CRC Reef Research Center, n. d. ).

Moreover, the Lakshadweep in India was another site to marvel at. The whole area is said to contain numerous species, all extraordinary in their own kind. Each species also contributes to the beauty of the said ecosystem, making sure that balance between all living creatures is maintained. In addition to this, the appearance of the said ecosystem has attracted numerous tourists because of the impressive sight. The Lakshadweep in India is comprised of 36 coral islands spanning an estimated 200-400 kilometer radius.

Known to many as a “tropical paradise”, Lakshadweep never fails to impress the interest of many (South India Tour Travel, n. d. ). In addition to this, the Lakshadweep was also considered to be protected by the government. In this manner, the said ecosystem would be improved in all levels possible, without the difficulty of having to hurt anyone else. Similar to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Lakshadweep ecosystem in India comprises of different kinds of marine plants and animals. These include different kinds of algae, clams, corals, sea cucumbers, and starfishes of every kind.

These floras also serve as the primary food and habitat of the marine life occupying the said ecosystem. Accompanying the flora is a wide variety of marine animals unknown to mankind. One of the most famous animals found in this ecosystem is the dolphin (WWF India, n. d. ) The dolphin is one of the most famous mammals in the world. Often seen in the ocean, dolphins have a way of attracting the people in numerous ways. Unknown to many, dolphins are unique and have impressive intellectual skills.

In this manner, they are able to make the existence of each species in the ecosystem worthwhile. From everything that has been said, it is evident that ecosystems have different strategies. Although both the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Lakshadweep in India are home to thousands of species, they too have their own goals to practice. The Great Barrier Reef is a clear example of how we, as people, should care for the environment. In so doing, the Lakshadweep in India also serves as a haven of hope for people all over the world.

The said ecosystem was damaged, and almost erased from the map, but with much hard work and dedication, everything was being restored to how they used to be. Now all living creatures, both humans and animals alike, would have hope that a better future is still attainable. References CRC Reef Research Center. (n. d. ) Coral reefs. Retrieved August 6, 2009 from http://www. reef. crc. org. au/discover/coralreefs/index. html National Geographic Society. (2009). Dugong. Retrieved August 6, 2009 from http://animals. nationalgeographic. com/animals/mammals/dugong.

html Facts Monk. (n. d. ) Great barrier reef plants. Retrieved August 6, 2009 from http://www. factsmonk. com/Great_Barrier_Reef_Plants South India Tour Travel. (n. d. ) Marine life in Lakshadweep. Retrieved August 6, 2009 from http://www. southindiatourtravel. com/lakshadweep/travel-to-lakshadweep/marine-life. html World Wildlife Foundation India. (n. d. ) Biodiversity and status of coral reefs/ecosystems. Retrieved August 6, 2009 from http://www. wwfindia. org/about_wwf/what_we_do/marine/projects/coral_reef_monitoring/results. cfm

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