The Great Barrier Reef is located in the Coral Sea along the east coast of Australia
Coral reefs are found in warm, shallow, clean water and are made up of coral, sand, and rock The Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef system in the world and is made up of 3,000 smaller reef systems It stretches 2,600 km along the east coast The top of the reef sits about two to three feet below sea level The waters around it cover roughly 80,000 square miles, or 208,000 km, an area slightly smaller than the state of Minnesota.
There are many islands on the Great Barrier reef These islands are made of coral sand that has piled up over time Coral sand is formed when waves constantly wash over the dead coral, breaking it in to sand These islands have been given the name Coral Cays. Most Coral Cays are impossible to reach by boat. They are hard to see, and the sharp coral can tear the bottom of the boat Ancient shipwrecks can still be found among the coral Reefs as large as the Great Barrier Reef take thousands of years to develop If you happen to visit a reef, any reef, be careful to not step on living coral. Most grow slowly, maybe less than two inches, or five cm a year. It would take years to replace it!
About three hundred and fifty types of coral live and grow on the Great Barrier Reef All have different skeleton shapes One kind of coral looks like deer antlers! It is called staghorn coral, and is one of the more common corals on the reef. It is also one of the fastest growers Not only do the corals make up the reef itself, but they are home to many different creatures Many types of fish depend on the coral to protect them Hundreds of miles along the reef have not been explored, but of what has, the beauty is breath taking!
The Daintree Rainforest is a tropical rainforest on the north east coast of Queensland, Australia It is the largest continuous area of tropical rainforest on the Australian Continent
The Daintree rainforest is the home to many animals It contains 30% of the frog, reptile and marsupial species in Australia 65% of Australia’s bat and butterfly species 18% of bird species in the country can be found in here There are also over 12,000 species of insects.