05 Jan '18, 9pm

To make a tropical paradise, start with parrotfish poop.

Beautiful things sometimes start in ugly places. The silky white sand of tropical beaches, for example, comes from the backsides of fish. That’s right. It’s poop. Ironically, the fish themselves are far from ugly. The sand-poopers are brightly colored parrotfish, in hues of electric pink and turquoise. They graze on slime that would otherwise smother reefs, and incidentally bite off chunks of coral too, eventually defecating grainy plumes. Not only do parrotfish poop gorgeous beaches. They also beautify the tropics by keeping reefs clean, and just by existing in such splashy colors. This magic movement Most of the sand on a tropical beach is ground-up coral, mixed with pulverized clam and urchin shells and other crumbled bits of once-living things. Not all of that is poo. Pounding waves and other sources of erosion can also grind fine sediments. But parrotfish are the most...

Full article: http://oceana.org/blog/make-tropical-paradise-start-parro...

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