Huge Coral Reef Discovered in Amazon River

June 14, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. unfavorable / ʌnˈfeɪ vər ə bəl / (adj.) – having the tendency to cause difficulties or problems
Example: Animals may die in extremely unfavorable conditions.

2. thrive / θraɪv / (v.) – to succeed in growing
Example: The coral population failed to thrive because of the ocean’s high temperature.

3. plethora / ˈplɛθ ər ə / (n.) – a very big amount
Example: A plethora of fish species used to live in that lake.

4. carnivorous / kɑrˈnɪv ər əs / (adj.) – referring to animals that eat meat
Example: Sharks are carnivorous.

5. relocate / riˈloʊ keɪt / (v.) – to move to a different place
Example: Our family will relocate to San Francisco.


Read the text below.
A huge coral reef has been discovered in the Amazon River.

A team of scientists from the University of Georgia and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro discovered a 600-mile coral reef extending from the shores of Brazil’s Maranhao state to the French Guiana. The team made the discovery in the Amazon River’s mouth, the part where it flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The report was published in the journal Science.

According to the scientists, the discovery of such a huge reef in the said location was a surprise because river conditions are usually unfavorable for corals to thrive in. Corals typically thrive in waters with high levels of salt and are therefore not expected to grow abundantly in the mouth of rivers, where freshwater mixes with saltwater.

However, the team reports that the newly discovered coral reef is healthy and is in fact home to a plethora of species of fish, sponges, and other marine creatures. The scientists reported that they found at least 73 species of fish, including many that are carnivorous.

Despite the recentness of the discovery, the team reports that the reef is already facing threats to its survival. One of these threats is the increase in the ocean’s acidity and temperature. Corals cannot thrive well in acidic waters and an increase in water temperature may cause many of its food sources to relocate.

Another major threat is the large-scale oil exploration projects being carried out within the reef’s proximity. The government reportedly sold 80 blocks of land in the area for oil drilling, 20 of these areas were reported to be already producing oil.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What must be done after the discovery that there are threats to this reef?
·         Who do you think should be responsible for protecting the reef? Discuss.

Discussion B

·         What is the importance of keeping rivers clean? Discuss.
·         In what ways can people keep rivers clean? Enumerate.

June 14, 2016