Corals have for too long been regarded as interesting natural mementos, usually put on display on shelves or in glass cabinets, rather than as living animals - part of a captivating and delicately balanced ecological system. Today, scuba diving has provided a way for naturalists to study coral reefs as living ecological communities and for the sport diver to recognise many corals that were only known as dead display specimens.
'Coral Reefs: Nature's Wonders' provides an introduction to the coral reef biology and ecology in a full-colour identification guide to the better-known coral genera of this region. It will take you into the tranquil underwater world of subdued sunlight, living coral colonies, brilliantly coloured fishes, sponges, algae, cowries and giant clams. It is this combination of marine life that gives the coral reefs their mystique.
This book brings home to us the fragility of the whole coral community in its exposure to danger, not only from adverse sea and weather conditions, but also from other inhabitants of the marine environment. Hopefully it will help us appreciate the need to conserve and protect the world's coral reefs.