Marine Life of Low Isles


Corals are animals in the same family as jelly fish but make a solid skeleton of limestone. They can pull themselves into the skeleton (most corals do this during the day) when unfortunately they look more like rock. It is important to realise they are alive and sensitive.


You won’t see many plants on the reef but they are still the important base of the food web. Microscopic plants live in the coral’s tissue and produce sugars by photosynthesis. The corals absorb much of these sugars for up to 90% of their food while the plants benefit from a safe house and good supply of carbon dioxide. Giant clams live with plants in a similar way and grow to one metre and at least 50 years old.


There are over 1500 different types of fish in The Great Barrier Reef and each has their own job. The way to see the most while snorkelling or diving is to move slowly, looking ahead not straight down. Fish are much better than we are at swimming and will disappear if chased but we can float and watch them for ages if relaxed. There is more specific info on corals & fish found at Low Isles on the About the Low Isles Page.