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Apr 26, 2016 07:09 AM EDT

Newly Discovered Coral Reef in Amazon River in Danger, Scientists Say

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First ever tagging of Amazon dolphins to boost conservation

Scientists unexpectedly discovered new coral reef in the Amazon River. It turns out to be the habitat of more than 70 different reel life species and 60 sponges species. The new finding also discovered that these species are already endangered due to drilling technology from exploration blocks.

The LA Times explained that the 600 miles of sponge and coral reef is located at the river's mouth. The American and Brazilian scientists, who teamed up and collected the data, reported that the reef reaches 30 to 120 meters deep into the oceanic floor.

However, the huge coral reef which is unnoticed for so long is apparently a new site for oil explorations. It is going to be explored and drilled. What makes the discovery surprising is that the fact that reefs are grown in well sunlit area. It is usually found in clear and salty water. Defying its nature, the coral reef in the Amazon River mouth is beneath the dark muddy water where light does not come through. Furthermore, the reef has a vibrant life with algae, fish, corals and sponges there.

The reef under a great threat

According to the ScienceMag, the oil exploration will leave the reefs in danger. The threat has already begun nearby. After the Brazilian government sold some areas of the river, 80 blocks of exploration areas are placed in the river's mouth. Among the 80 blocks, 20 have already began drilling oil that could endanger the reefs.

Within the close proximity, these large scale businesses will threat the environment. The commercial activities might become a challenge to preserve the Amazonian reefs. Not to mention, other threats that have gained attention from activists and environmentalists such as the industrial fisheries and global climate change - which contributes to coral bleaching, according to the Tech Times.

The lobsters, fish, starfish, sponges; there are hundreds of marine species live in the Amazon River. The industrial technologies have played a big part in worsening the ecosystems fragility.

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