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GBR's annual mass coral spawn only a couple weeks away [video]

By Leonard Ho - Posted Nov 01, 2011 09:00 AM
It's that time of the year again when corals throughout the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) renew the oceans with their annual spawning: the birth of millions of baby corals! The specular event is expected between November 16 to 18, 2011.
GBR's annual mass coral spawn only a couple weeks away [video]

A variety of corals form an outcrop on Flynn Reef, part of the Great Barrier Reef near Cairns, Queensland, Australia. Photo by Toby Hudson

The Great Barrier Reef as seen from space
The Great Barrier Reef as seen from space
Only when conditions are just right does this natural spectacle commence.  Within a week after the first November full moon, sea temperatures must reach 27 degrees Celsius (81oF) and the tidal movement must subside to signal corals to begin their  afterhour extravaganza.  Millions of corals broadcast their eggs and sperm into the waters, revitalizing the reefs with their progeny.

The GBR is a big place (the biggest reef on the planet, visible from space), so different parts of the reef will experience spawning at slightly different times.  But when it's all said and done, millions of corals will call November their birth-month.

If you're a diver looking for a last minute getaway, I encourage you to head down under to celebrate the renewal of life en masse.

Professional footage of GBR's 2009 mass spawning event.

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.


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