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The Great Barrier Reef

Did you know that astronauts can see the Great Barrier Reef from space? The Great Barrier Reef is the largest structure built by living organisms on the Earth today. This region is also the world’s largest group of coral reefs. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park covers an area of 133,360 square miles and stretches 1,430 miles along the Queensland Coast. It is found in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.

There are three main types of reefs found on the Great Barrier Reef. They are Ribbon, Platform and Fringing reefs. Ribbon reefs only occur in the northern part. They form along the edge of the continental shelf and can grow so high they form narrow walls. Platform reefs are also known as patch reefs and are scattered in the calm, shallow waters between the mainland and the edge of the continental shelf. They are usually round or oval patches and tend to be broken up. Fringing reefs are coral structures that are attached to the mainland or to continental islands. In the Great Barrier Reef most of the fringing reefs are found around islands. They are the reef type most commonly seen by visitors.

Read on to learn more about the Great Barrier Reef in today's Science Fun!

Click HERE to download this activity as a printable PDF.

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