date of publication:
August 20 2021 11:10 GMT
Update date: August 20 2021 11:35 GMT
Scientists in Australia have unveiled the widest and longest reef in the Great Barrier Reef, a 34-foot-wide structure named the Moga Dam after the indigenous people of the Palm Islands.
Scientists recorded this scientific discovery by divers off Goulbody Island (also known as Orpheus Island), part of the Palm Island group in Queensland, Australia.
Made up of small marine animals and calcium carbonate, the researchers said, the structure is just over 17 feet high and is the sixth largest structure in the Great Barrier Reef.
Scientists estimate that this coral colony is between 421 and 438 years old, which predates the colonization of Australia itself, which began in 1788.
The corals are part of the genus Porites and have astounded researchers, not only for their good health (70% of them are live), but they have survived a number of different events, including 80 hurricanes, coral bleaching and other conditions that can compromise their health.
The researchers wrote in the study that “Burett coral large…rare, unusual and resilient, it has survived coral bleaching, invasive species, hurricanes, severe tides, and human activities for nearly 500 years.”
In October 2020, researchers said that more than half of the reefs in the Great Barrier Reef have been lost to bleaching over the past 25 years.
“When ocean temperatures are too high, corals expel the colorful symbiotic algae that provide them with food – turning them bleached white,” they added.
According to Live Science, in the language of the Manbra people, who live on the Palm Islands, the word “Moga Gambi” means “large coral reef”.
Nathan Cook, one of the study’s co-authors, told news outlets that the skeleton is likely one of the oldest on coral reefs, adding that he was amazed at how safe it was, thanks to its skeleton.
“These huge colonies grow in a hemispherical shape, and would probably prioritize width over height for stability,” Cook added.
Coral reefs are anthocyanins, a type of organism related to jellyfish, jellyfish and sea anemones that help in the formation of coral reefs, such as the Great Barrier Reef.
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