Why are coral reefs so important? | Natural History Museum

under the waves all over the world there

are spectacular ecosystems corals are

tiny little animals are together can

form huge reefs spanning hundreds of

kilometres teeming with diverse life so

let's take a look the oldest corals

lived four hundred and fifty million

years ago as long before dinosaurs who

clock-in from around two hundred and

forty million years ago the first

members of the human family only

appeared around seven million years ago

thousands of species can be found living

on one coral reef for example the Great

Barrier Reef contains over four hundred

species of coral 1,500 species of fish

four thousand species of mollusk and six

species of turtle

and because of this amazing biodiversity

we're starting to discover that there is

a lot we can learn from coral coral

extracts have been used to develop

treatments for asthma arthritis cancer

and heart disease it's been estimated

that coral reefs provide a global value

of five point seven trillion pounds each

year including from fishing and tourism

more than 500 million people worldwide

depend on reefs for food jobs and

coastal protection the riches in coral

reefs can reduce wave energy by up to 95


providing crucial protection from

threats such as tsunamis if we were to

travel back in time 40 million years the

most diverse place on earth was

somewhere between where London and Paris

are now today the Coral Triangle in

Southeast Asia holds that claim and

until the 13th of September in London

the Wonder and diversity of these

spectacular underwater ecosystems are on

display at the Natural History Museum's

major exhibition coral reefs secret

cities of the sea

dive in and find out why coral reefs are

so important and how their future is

being secured immerse yourself in life

beneath the waves with a live aquarium

virtual dive experience are more than

250 specimens to book exhibition tickets

click here or just pop in