Scientists discover reef species

Date: 1/8/2004

An Australian-led team has uncovered one of the most diverse coral reef systems in the world in the Solomon Islands. Group leader Dr Alison Green said 15 scientists, from Australia and the Solomon Islands, spent 35 days exploring their discovery – recording 485 species of coral and 284 different fish types. The revelation shattered previously held suspicions that the most diverse coral regions on the globe ended at Papua New Guinea. Dr Green said although it needed to be confirmed, the group believed it had uncovered nine new species of coral and two new species of tropical fish. The surveyed area had the second highest number of coral species in the world and ranked with the top five for fish diversity – on par with Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia and Papua New Guinea.

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