The coral reefs are some of the most delicate and fragile ecosystems of the world. They are incredible havens for all sorts of amazing wildlife and we really should look after them better. I'm sharing some wonderful pictures of the coral reefs, keeping my fingers crossed that they're still be there for future generations and pictures won't just be memories.
A tranquil ocean scene where you'll never imagine a coral reef teeming with life lies just below the surface.
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There are hard corals and soft corals. These are soft.
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Coral reefs are home to the most colorful marine creatures found anywhere.
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Australia's Great Barrier Reef is the longest coral reef in the world.
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This poisonous creature roams the Australian reefs.
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There's no definitive answer to the question how many different forms of life the coral reefs support.
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The coral reefs in the Red Sea make it one of the premier diving spots outside of the tropics and the world's major reef systems.
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Among the amazing array of reef creatures, the sea horse is still one of the most wondrous in that it's the male that carries the babies and gives birth.
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He looks too pretty to be caught and eaten on a seafood platter ^_^
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This is a species of damselfish.
This magnificent picture of a shoal of stunning blue fish was shot off Malaysia.
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Sea anemones are predatory animals that anchor themselves to the reefs.
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Known as "carpet coral", they can spread to completely cover a rock with brightly colored circular patterns. They're popular with hobby fish keepers.
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The real Nemo.
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Predatory sea snails range in size from very small to huge.
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AKA the Napoleon Fish, it can change from female to male, and there is only one male per territory. If he disappears, the largest female will change sex to male. .
Incredible colors abound.
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Several green sea turtles gather at a cleaning station on the reef.
Reef fish are so much more colorful and heavily patterned than deep sea and cold ocean fish.
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One of the most brightly colored corals.
The colors are kaleidoscopic.
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The Belize reef is home to more than 100 different kinds of coral and some 500 species of fish.
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It looks like a skeleton leaf.
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The Roatán reef (Honduras) is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in the Caribbean Sea - off the coast of Central America.
It's not actually a jellyfish but a polyp.
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Corals really are such fantastical shapes.
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The lionfish is a venomous fish and a major predator on the coral reefs.
I've always thought starfish were just a sandy brown color.
The corals will waft with the movement of the waves like your hair blowing in the breeze.
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The Great Barrier Reef throws some amazing shapes.
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It's obvious where that name comes from.
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When you go scuba diving on the reefs you have to share your water space with loads of fish.
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OMG look at that electric orange and acid green, not to mention the pink and turquoise.
The white corals are just as stunning as the colored corals.
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It looks like a plant but it's actually a marine gastropod mollusk.
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Red fish in the Red Sea.
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It doesn't have to be multi-colored and garish to be beautiful.
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A common coral in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
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The muted palette is just wonderful.
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But there's something extra special when you see all the colors of the rainbow.
Have you dived or snorkeled coral reefs? I've snorkeled a bit and up close, reefs are a truly amazing sight.
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