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CORAL REEFS: A NATURAL HISTORY   

by Charles Sheppard (Princeton £28)

CORAL REEFS: A NATURAL HISTORY by Charles Sheppard (Princeton £28)

Loathed by sea captains (they scupper boats), loved by snorkelers and scientists, coral reefs also support the livelihoods of up to a billion people worldwide — and provide homes to thousands of species of animals and fish. 

For tiny, snackable creatures, these gloriously colourful and intricate living structures give vital protection from predators, too. 

In his gorgeous book, Life Sciences, professor Charles Sheppard celebrates the beauty of coral reefs and their dependants — ‘a wriggling tapestry of colour’ — while also warning of the threat to the reefs’ existence from ocean warming, pollution and soaring populations. The solution? As ever, it’s to ‘take our collective foot off the carbon emissions accelerator’.


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