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Destination Reefs: Montgomery Reef, Australia

By Leonard Ho - Posted Mar 18, 2012 08:00 AM
Montgomery Reef is Australia's largest inshore reef. Inshore reefs are incredibly dynamic ecosystems. Think of them as vast coral reef tidepools that completely change with the tides. Islands, lagoons, and raging rivers of seawater appear and disappear with the ebb and flow of the ocean. Animals once under meters of water are suddenly exposed to the intense tropical sun. This chimeric community is truly remarkable.
Destination Reefs: Montgomery Reef, Australia

A most colorful coral tidepool

The tidal movement at Montgomery Reef is among the most dramatic in the world.  When the tide goes out, many animals are shielded from the brutal sun by mere inches of water.  Dormant islands seemingly rise from the seafloor.  When the tide comes back in, gushing seawater creates whitewater torrents, testing the foothold of all life in its path.  Montgomery Reef is like no other coral reef we've visited in our Destination Reefs series.

It's amazing to see corals (including a cameo by an elegance coral — makes you rethink the light and flow requirements of this species!), fish, octopus, clams, sea turtles, and other reef animals endure this highly dynamic environment.  Corals have evolved amazing mechanisms to protect themselves from these harsh conditions.  Read how corals' skeletons serve as both internal reflectors and UV protection.

Montgomery Reef is located on the Kimberly Coast of Western Australia.

The Destination Reefs video series showcases the diversity of coral reefs around the world.  Through these high quality videos, Advanced Aquarist hopes we can all gain a greater appreciation of reef life beyond our glass boxes.

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.

Website: http://www.advancedaquarist.com.

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