Saving the Reefs

I am not sure how many people are aware of how important coral reefs are to not only the places directly surrounding it but throughout the world. The extent to which they have been decimated the past few decades by man is a very real threat that we are only finally beginning to acknowledge and counteract. Since I am an avid scuba diver, I have seen over the years what mankind has done to the populations and breeds of fish that I encounter.

coral reefs surrounded by fishes

 

The ecosystem must be saved at all costs and luckily, there are studies conducted all over the world that are devising schemes to deal with this crisis. At the end of the day, we must remind ourselves that coral reefs are not just a thing of beauty, but of purpose for the life that lives within it. There are campaigns all over the world that have aided in raising awareness about how trashing the seas can directly and indirectly impact ports, nearby cities, and the larger cities that are in the vicinity.

 

The Great Barrier Reef was studied specifically to see how it could negatively affect larger coral reef systems around the world. A large majority of the animals that live in coral reefs are colonial, like anemones and jellyfish. Hard corals can survive only in sunlit tropical waters and are very sensitive to changes in sedimentation, metal pollution, and warmer temperatures. These are the very problems that coral reefs are currently facing throughout the world. But what are some of the reasons why we still need coral reefs?

coral reefs

First of all, coral reefs host an astonishing amount of biodiversity and is considered by scientists the most diverse ecosystem on the planet, which is one of the reasons for its spectacular survival. These diverse ecosystems are home to several types of fish species, which is important as it would be costly and difficult to breed these artificially. These coral reefs also provide housing and food for the fish that live within them. There are estimates that more than a billion people rely on coral reefs for their food source, making it a significant provider of sustenance to humans.

 

Coral reefs also create and protect land by dissipating the wave energy from tsunamis and storms, thereby reducing the damage of adjacent land. They are also known for holding a fair amount of common natural medicines that fight against a host of illnesses and bacteria. Because they are so diverse biologically, natural remedies are commonly used in many areas of the world, and coral reefs supply most of the ingredients.

 

Of course, coral reefs are known for their spectacular beauty the world over as there are few places on earth that offer such pristine turquoise water with the backdrop of a wonderland. It is far more intricate than any words could ever describe and part of the reason why they continue to hold a sense of enchantment from people anywhere in the world. Our mission is to now keep this seeming fantasy a reality for generations to come.

 

Talking Dolphins

2 dolphins

If you have never had the experience of being around dolphins, it is definitely something you will hold with a sense of wonder once you have. They are such amazing creatures and I see why they are such a favorite of people that get to see them frequently. One of my good friends works at a research facility in the city and she has invited me down a few times to observe as he trains and works with the dolphins there. The first time I went there, I was naturally very curious as to what was going on and how the dolphins acted in a man-made facility.

 

Interestingly enough, they all seem to have adapted quite well to the change and after only a few visits, I nearly forgot that I was not in a natural habitat. Many of the dolphins have never known another life, so they are fully acclimated to the surroundings and handlers exclaim that they behave in the same manner as those that are undomesticated. It was mystifying to see this work up close and personal. I even got to see the intricate manner in which dolphins ‘talk’, which still to this day is a phenomenon to me that makes me even more intrigued.

group of dolphins

Of course, since I got to see every aspect of keeping dolphins in a controlled environment, I also saw my friend break out a pressure washer cleaner to keep things nice and tidy. Keeping things clean in places like this are just as important and having industrial supplies on hand is always for the better.

 

How do dolphins talk to one another you may ask? Well, it involves a system of feedback and transmission in messages that are a complex code that is similar to ones that humans use. The dolphin system is very sophisticated and helps to protect them from predators. In essence, dolphins can talk to one another to cooperate and organize against an attack to increase their survival.

 

By emitting and receiving sounds, dolphins are able to communicate with one another, each dolphin possessing a distinctive sound that is recognizable. Each dolphin’s sound is unique and they are able to differentiate between sounds to identify one another. They produce two vocal sounds: burst-pulsed and continuous tone sounds. Burst-pulsed are similar to clicks, emitted at regular intervals, while continuous tone sounds consist of squeaks, squeals, and whistles that rise and fall to produce phrases.

 

Dolphins communicate at extremely high levels, able to interact in social gatherings with peers, alert others when they get excited, angry, or feel threatened. The sounds they emit depend on the situation at hand and dolphins are known as very expressive creatures. Some studies have even indicated that dolphins are able to speak linguistically, with some speculating that dolphins even call one another by name. Also, when dolphins speak, the others around seem to be listening, similar to a conversation spoken between human beings. This is another reason as to why scientists consider dolphins evolved speakers in the animal kingdom.