Dienstag, 1. September 2009

Welcome to the Coral Reef

“Welcome to the Coral Reef”

The Zooxanthellae Rockabilly Song
Copyright 2003 By T.H. Culhane, Melodic Mnemonics
UCLA Dept. of Urban Planning
Environmental Analysis and Policy

Spoken: “There are more phyla and more orders of creatures underwater than exist in all the terrestrial biomes above
 And while the jungles of the world contain more actual species there almost 4 times as many phyla on the reef than in all the rainforests combined…,
Coral reefs contain over  25,000 species from 32 of the 34 animal phyla living on the planet earth;
But coral reefs are very rare and very threatened
25% of all marine species live in an area that is less than 1% of the ocean floor. And this area is getting smaller and smaller every day.
Pollution and over fishing and unsustainable development practices are destroying what was once the most stable ecosystem on the planet
Nonetheless, there is HOPE! And that hope grows every time one of YOU begins to take a serious interest in this fantabulous and fragile environment.”

and Arthropoda
and the Porifera
(“Sponge Bob”!)
And the Annelidae
(Sea Worms!)
Phylum Mollusca (snails!)
And Vertebrata (Whales?)   
like Osteichthyes (fish!)
And the Chondrichthyes (Fish!)
I mean the Sharks and Rays…
And the Delphinidae…
They all live here!
Under the water, under the water…
Under the water, under the water…
There’s such diversity…
Biodiversity –
Welcome to the Coral Reef!
(Let’s Go!)

The Coelenterata
Only found beneath the water
Are the corals and anenomes
That look like pretty flowers
But they’re animals…
Yes they’re animals…
And those weird Porifera
Those sponges that grow everywhere
From blobs of red and yellow
To giant purple barrels too
Are animals…
True they’re animals…

But they tend to live in colonies
That grow to look like coral trees
But they’re just apartment houses undersea

Hard corals form the basis
Of this undersea oasis
With the exoskeletons that they secrete…

That’s how they form the coral reef…

Coral polyps are strange hybrids
Of producers and consumers
Using tentacles to catch and stun their prey

But like some clams and slugs and nudibranchs
And Tridacnidae in fish farm tanks
They feed by photosynthesis by day
It’s a form of symbiosis
Where green algal zooxanthellae
Make the sugars that make everything else run

Now it may sound kinda silly, but a girl with Zooxanthellae…
Thus could eat by simply sitting in the sun…
Every girl’s dream…
Except she’d have to be green…
Welcome to the coral reef…

Shells and corals crushed by pounding waves
Get turned one day to tiny grains of sand
And over eons earth’s geology’s transformed by creatures of the sea
These animals create what we call land…
(and limestone and marble…and concrete!)
Your house may once have been a reef…

The echinodermata also live beneath the water
They’re the urchins and the starfish
Some have stomachs that come out when they digest their prey…
It’s a strange display…
And the Mollusca form the phylum 
Of the Mussels, Snails and Bivalves
That make all those pretty seashells
That you find along the beach
They’re rather marvelous…
Cousins of octopus…
And how many of you really knew
That bug-like creatures live there too…
The arthropods with crabs and shrimps and more
And there are worms that look like Christmas trees
Within the strange annelidae
The reef is filled with aliens galore
No need to go to outer space
The coral reef’s a stranger place
If you’re looking for a brave new world…
The ocean is the place to be…
Welcome to the coral reef!

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