Crown Of Thorns Starfish Paper

849 words - 4 pages

Crown of Thorns StarfishThe Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is the largest collection of coral reefs in the world. It extends over 2000km off the northeastern coast of Australia and is home to a very diverse range of living creatures. Coral Reefs form in areas where temperatures don't fall below 18 degrees Celsius for long periods at a time, so are usually found 30 degrees north and south of the equator. Most require very saline water. Reefs are very shallow with clear water to allow light to penetrate.Due to the GBR's symbiotic nature it is said by many to be a large living organism. Experts suggest that some parts of the reef could be up to 20 million years old, with most of the visible co ...view middle of the document...

The COTS has very high reproductive capacity with each female being able to lay millions of eggs in one breeding season. One of the main hypotheses as to the survival of larvae is the runoff of nutrients from fertilizers near costal areas, causing the water to become rich with nutrients. This results in a phytoplankton bloom that provides more food for crown-of-thorns larvae.An aggregation of COTS feeding on coral.There are very few animals that are willing to attack the toxin-ridden starfish, but surprisingly, some creatures prey on them. Predators include the Giant Triton, a species of shrimp, a species of worm and various fish. The decline of these predators, due to over harvesting and pollution is also a major factor to the increase the population of the starfish, making outbreaks more likely to occur.There are many ways to prevent COT from plaguing our reefs such as the breeding of such creatures as the Giant Triton. Divers also kill them by injecting the starfish's own stomach acid into each of their many legs although this is a long and tedious effort because if even one leg...

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