Sunday, 22 August 2010

Great Barrier Reef's Great-Grandmother is Unearthed - New Scientist

photo credit Naoi, Flickr & Getty

Scientists have found an ancient fossilized reef just 600 meters away from the existing Great Barrier Reef of Australia. The fossils went down as far as 110 meters into the sea floor and are up to 169,000 years old!

"The prevailing wisdom has been that the Great Barrier Reef sits atop an older, dead reef, but 110 metres beneath the live reef, the team hit rock. Corals need light to live, and [John] Pandolfi [of the University of Queensland] now thinks that when rising sea levels at the end of the last ice age threatened to put the lights out on the ancient reef, some larvae travelled to shallower waters and seeded the modern one."

Am I the only one who thinks this is unbelievably cool? I'd love to see a documentary about it.

Full article here (New Scientist)

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