Author: Caitlin Ellingson
Source: Iowa State Daily 
January 4, 2012
"As the physical effects of human impacts on Earth continue to worsen, the coral reefs in our oceans are experiencing a mass bleaching that essentially renders them lifeless and incapable of supporting many species that depend on them for survival.
Evidence shows that coral reefs have been in existence for about 3.5 billion years and have grown significantly over time. They are found along the coastal areas of continents or islands in shallow tropical waters near the equator.
In total, they cover an area of over 280,000 square kilometers on the planet and are home to 25 percent of all known marine fish species. Even though that number seems high, the total area only takes up about .5 percent of the entire marine environment."
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