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This book describes one of nature's most amazing spectacles. Until the 1980s, no one even knew that it happened. Then, in 1984 , scientists on Australia's Great Barrier Reef discovered that dozens of the reef's coral species spawned, or released their eggs and sperm, all at the same time.After that discovery, researchers found other mass spawnings on coral reefs in other parts of the world. However, scientists found that only on the Great Barrier Reef and other reefs in the Indo-Pacific region did such a large number of coral species spawn together. On the Great Barrier Reef more than 135 of the reef's 340 species of corals join in mass spawnings.Spawning helps corals in a number of ways. Since adult corals can't move, spawning allows them to spread their young over wide areas and expand their range. However, mass spawning has an additional advantage. With so many corals releasing their eggs at one time, predators can eat only a small percentage of them before they get full. Fish and other predators leave most of the eggs to float on their merry way, increasing the eggs' chances of establishing new coral colonies. Without this remarkable event many coral species may not have survived for so long or been able to build the incredible reefs we enjoy today.As scientists continue to study mass spawning, they will learn more about this amazing event. Their discoveries will also help us understand and protect one of our planet's most awesome natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef.
In 1980, scientists discovered that hundreds of corals on the Great Barrier Reef participate in a mass spawning event. Science author Sneed B. Collard III explains coral reefs, the coral larvae's perilous journey through the sea to their home on the reef, and the animals that depend on this ecosystem for their survival. Intricate cut-paper illustrations capture the eye-catching colors of this underwater world.
Sneed B. Collard III has been a biologist and a computer scientist. He's put his knowledge and experience to use by writing more than thirty children's books, including MANY BIOMES, ONE EARTH; BEAKS; and TEETH. He began writing after graduating with honors in marine biology from the University of California at Berkeley. After earning his master’s in scientific instrumentation at the University of California at Santa Barbara, he continued to hone his craft while serving as a computer consultant for biologists. He lives in Missoula, Montana.