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Duration:03:47
Uploaded:2018-11-07
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Barrier reefs are home to all kinds of amazing animals, but did you know that the coral itself is an animal? Join Jessi and Squeaks to learn all about coral and the longest coral reef in the world, The Great Barrier Reef!

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SOURCES:
https://greatbarrierreef.com.au/great-barrier-reef-facts-for-kids/
http://kids.nceas.ucsb.edu/biomes/coralreef.html
https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/thingsyoucando.html
https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/coral_species.html
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/d/dugong/
♪.

Wow, that’s is so beautiful, isn’t it, Squeaks? We’re looking at pictures of a coral reef a rocky piece of ground in the ocean that’s made of, and home to, animals called coral.

I wonder if this is the Great Barrier Reef. That’s the biggest coral reef in the entire world! It’s in the ocean near the country of Australia.

See these parts of the picture? Those are the coral! [Squeaks squeaks]. You’re right, Squeaks, coral look a lot like plants.

But they’re not! Coral are small animals that make, and live in, a hard, rocky material. Instead of moving around like most animals, they attach to the rocks and stay there for the rest of their lives.

That’s why they might seem like plants at first — because plants don’t move around either. One small part of a coral reef can have thousands of coral all living together! Millions of coral over thousands of years have made the Great Barrier Reef.

This huge reef is about 2300 kilometers long! That’s so long that if you could drive along it in a car, it would take you almost an entire day and night! Like all coral reefs, the Great Barrier Reef is home to lots of different kinds of animals besides for the coral—big and small!

Take, for example, the dugong. These big animals eat plants—lots of plants! Dugongs spend their whole day looking for and grazing on the seagrasses that grow on coral reefs like the Great Barrier Reef.

If the reef didn’t exist, these gentle giants wouldn’t have enough to eat. Other animals need the rocky coral reef so that they have a safe place to live — like moray eels. They might look fierce and dangerous, but they’re really very shy!

So they spend most of their time hiding in caves and spaces in the reef. [Squeaks squeaks]. Yes, Squeaks, just like how you’re hiding behind this desk! Still other animals use the coral reef to hide in a different way, like the cuttlefish.

Cuttlefish can change the color of their skin so they look a lot like the coral reef. That helps the cuttlefish hide from other animals that want to eat them! The Great Barrier Reef is an important place for all of these animals, and it’s important for people, too.

The reef helps protect Australia from the strong waves that storms churn up from the water. We can also make some types of medicine using the plants and animals that live there. But the ocean is changing—and that means changes for the Great Barrier Reef, too.

Some things people do, like use too much electricity, make the world get a little warmer, including the oceans. As the ocean gets warmer, coral can have a hard time getting enough food, and with fewer coral, the animals that live around them have a harder time finding enough food, too. Another problem is pollution in the ocean — chemicals, litter, and other kinds of waste that can eventually make their way into the water and hurt the animals that live there.

But people are working on ways to help the animals that live on and around the reef to stay healthy, like learning how to keep pollution from getting into the ocean. And there are things that we can do to help, too … no matter where we live! For example, things that go down drains in our sinks or bathtubs can sometimes end up in the ocean.

We can help keep the ocean clean by only putting things we’re supposed to down the drain. We can also make sure trash ends up in the garbage can or recycling bin where it belongs, which helps keep it from getting into rivers or the ocean. There are lots of awesome living things in the ocean, and if everyone works together, we can help keep them healthy.

Thanks for joining us! If you want to keep learning and having fun with Squeaks and me, hit the subscribe button, and we’ll see you next time, here at the Fort! ♪.