Saturday, September 05, 2009

Rich heritage under the Malaysian sea

IF the diversity of corals is taken as the currency of richness in the undersea kingdom, Malaysia will certainly be one of the wealthiest nations in the world.

If an imaginable line is drawn linking the richest nations whose diversity of corals is at a maximum — a line connecting the seas with more than 70 genera of corals, it will form a perimeter around the seas of Malaysia, Brunei, Malaysia Borneo (Sabah and Sarawak), Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and northern Australia. The area is now generally known as the ‘Coral Triangle.’

This fact has repeatedly been underlined by recent scientific assertions since it was pointed out by one of the better known coral gurus, Charles Veron, more than 10 years ago.

Diversity in biology is taken as a sign of stability and so it generally stands that a diversified habitat is indicative of its good health.

In the South China Sea alone the total acreage of reefs is more than 10,000 sq km with all the different types of reef habitats being represented.

The coral reefs themselves are home to many living creatures. Some are familiar but many are still waiting to be discovered.

It is generally acknowledged amongst scuba divers that the ‘lifescape’ (as opposed to landscape) changes as you explore the reefs in the day and again at night.

The day scenery is composed of fish and the sedentary marine backdrop such as corals and plants.

Continue reading (incl. pics) at: Rich heritage under the Malaysian sea

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