Tagged: marine

Heron Island Holiday

hermit crab

We met this little critter, a hermit crab,  in the touch tank at the Heron Island Research Centre, run by the University of Queensland. Heron Island is a coral cay, 65 km east of Gladstone and at the southerly end of the Great Barrier Reef. It is a haven for bird life (including egrets, back noddy terns, gulls, rails and shearwaters) and surrounded by beautiful coral reefs. It is also a nesting ground for green and loggerhead turtles and on the migration route for humpback whales. We spent many hours snorkelling in the warm waters, swimming with colourful schools of fish, reef sharks and turtles. We learnt about all the different kinds of marine invertebrates during a reef walk, including molluscs (shellfish), echinoderms (sea stars and sea cucumbers), cnidarians (jellyfish) and corals.

You can enter a competition to visit the islands of the Great Barrier Reef here. Ben Southall, a British backpacker, won the Queensland Tourism “Best Job in the World” competition and needs some ‘helpers’ to visit the islands and share them with the world.

Marine Biodiversity

Photo Source

An international team of marine scientists believe that tectonic plate collisions were responsible for bursts of marine biodiversity across the planet. “There have been at least three marine biodiversity hotspots during the past 50 million years,” say a team led by researchers from the Australian Research Council Centre for Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Townsville. Tectonic plate collisions formed shallow, warm seas and many bays and islands, which allowed biodiversity to flourish in different areas at diferent tiimes. Read more on the ABC Science on-line website.