Could ‘engineered’ coral save the planet’s reefs from destruction?

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This weekend, conservationists will put the final touches to a giant artificial reef they are assembling at London zoo. Samples of the planet’s most spectacular corals – vivid green branching coral, yellow scroll, blue ridge and many more species – will be added to the giant tank along with fish that thrive in their presence: blue tang, clownfish and many others. The scene will then be set for Monday’s opening of the zoo’s new gallery , Tiny Giants, which is dedicated to the minuscule invertebrate creatures that sustain life across the planet. The coral reef tank and its seven-metre wide window will form the core of the exhibition. The aim of the new gallery goes beyond merely demonstrating the wonder and glory of coral reefs , however. It will also showcase the research that is now being carried out in a bid to halt the destruction of the world’s reefs as global heating warms the oceans and bleaches and destroys their coral. “Coral reefs are the most diverse ecosystems on Earth and we want to show people how wonderful they are,” said Paul Pearce-Kelly, senior curator of invertebrates and fish at the Zoological Society of London. “However, we also […]

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