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May 22 2013

Charles Darwin wrong about coral reef formation?


Charles Darwin sparked more than one controversy over the natural progression of life. One such case involved the evolution of coral atolls, the ring-shaped coral reefs that surround submerged tropical islands.

Coral reefs are actually huge colonies of tiny animals that need sunlight to grow. After seeing a reef encircling Moorea, near Tahiti, Darwin came up with his theory that coral atolls grow as reefs stretch toward sunlight while ocean islands slowly sink beneath the sea surface. (Cooling ocean crust, combined with the weight of massive islands, causes the islands to sink.).

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