Popular Science

A healthy reef is alive with music, but the chorus fades as the coral dies.

It's bad news for fish when their homes go quiet.
a degraded coral reef

Degraded coral reefs at Lizard Island, Northern Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

Tim Gordon, University of Exeter

Take it from me: there’s a lot of music under the sea. A healthy section of Australia’s , for instance, is full of it—damselfish hooting, clownfish chirping, shrimp clicking their claws. ”There’s this whole sort of orchestra of animals making noise,” says University of. But when reefs get damaged, animals die and the orchestra stops playing. That silence makes it harder for young fish that have grown up in the open ocean to find a way back to their adult homes, further degrading the already-suffering reefs.

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