Largest coral ever found in the Great Barrier Reef

Largest coral ever found in the Great Barrier Reef
Largest coral ever found in the Great Barrier Reef
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This ball of calcium carbonate is 10.4 meters across and is inhabited by a colony of living coral polyps that have created it for over 400 years.

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Coral research paper published in Scientific Reports. It must be said that the formation called Muga dhambi (translated from the local dialect means "large coral") was also known to the aborigines - the Manbarra people. This is understandable, because large corals are very rare here. And this specimen managed to survive almost a hundred cases of discoloration, up to 80 large cyclones, severe ebbs and human activities for hundreds of years.

It is not surprising that a whole scientific group from the James Cook University (Australia) undertook its study. It was discovered and measured in March 2021 at a depth of 7.4 meters, on the slope of a sandy reef during a scientific study of coral reefs in the Palm Islands group. Scientists reviewed the literature, compared the size, age and condition of the Large Coral with other similar specimens found in different parts of the world.

It turned out that this is the largest in diameter representative of the coral of the genus Porites sp., which are usually small, finger-shaped, rocky formations. Scientists assessed the condition of the coral as very good, since 70 percent of its cover is preserved and only a small percentage of sponges and algae live on it. Experts also determined the age of education - from 421 to 438 years. It was calculated based on linear growth models.

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However, the researchers warn that in the future, some of the coral may die due to exposure to sunlight during ebb and flow, as well as from the activity of sponges. Today it is the sixth tallest coral in the Great Barrier Reef (5.3 meters high) and the widest at 10.4 meters in diameter. Its genus belongs to one of the most important reef-building coral species.

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