Thursday, April 8, 2010

Crown of Thorns Redux

I panicked several years ago when Crown of Thorns Starfish were taking over and killing our coral reefs. I read about massive outbreaks on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia and how scientists were testing various methods to eliminate the destructive starfish.

Time, of course, heals all wounds. Just as Crown of Thorns seemed to be everywhere leaving swaths of dead coral heads in their wake, they suddenly disappeared. Giant Tritons, one of their few predators, were gobbling them up with voracious appetites. I am always amazed at how well nature manages to keep everything in balance.

On my ocean swim this morning, I spotted this Crown of Thorns Starfish which is the first one I've seen in a long time. I wonder if it just made a brief appearance to commemorate Good Friday. Or perhaps I will get to watch the cycle of life and death on the reef repeat itself...

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