Smile! It’s a beautiful day on the reef.

No it’s not the Joker, nor one of the Insane Clown Posse. This is the actual face of a real live parrotfish, up close and personal. These abundant herbivores use their toothy beak to munch algae from the reef, thus keeping the substrate clean for baby corals to get a foothold, but also eroding the reef structure and thus contributing to the dynamic balance between growth and loss.

This is one of several characteristically inspiring images by David Doubilet, from the National Geographic‘s recent article on the Great Barrier Reef. Unfortunately, the days ahead may not be so beautiful as a result of the warming climate and various other pressures. But the incredible diversity of the GBR may provide some measure of resilience.

Read the whole story–and see the rest of the pictures– here.

 

Leave a Reply