🎂 Happy anniversary to Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary! 🎉
Today, the sanctuary is 27 years old. Within this sanctuary’s 2,900 square nautical miles lie the world’s third-largest barrier reef, extensive seagrass beds, mangrove-fringed islands, and more than 6,000 species of marine life.
The longhorn cowfish is a variety of boxfish from recognizable by its long horns that protrude from the front of its head, rather like those of a cow or bull. They are omnivorous reef fish of the Indo-Pacific region and can grow up to 50 centimetres (20 inches) long. While badly suited to the home aquarium, the cowfish is becoming increasingly popular as a pet.
diverse underwater ecosystems held together by calcium carbonate structures secreted by corals. Coral reefs are built by colonies of tiny animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups. The polyps belong to a group of animals known as Cnidaria, which also includes sea anemones and jellyfish.
The Last of its Kind Sharks throughout the world are being destroyed at a devastating rate for shark fin soup and other human causes. This image of a lonely reef shark cruising over a desert of sand was captured to help portray the importance of conservation before we lose them FOREVER. Photo by Laz Ruda.
“Sharks have everything a scientist dreams of. They’re beautiful - God, how beautiful they are! They’re like an impossibly perfect piece of machinery. They’re as graceful as any bird. They’re as mysterious as any animal on earth. There are more than two hundred and fifty species of shark andeveryoneisdifferentfromeveryotherone.” - Peter Benchley