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Posted Mon Feb 17 2014: from BBC:
Killer starfish threaten Great Barrier Reef
Waves of carnivorous starfish are eating their way through Australia's Great Barrier Reef - and sugar cane farming is being blamed. ... Australian scientists are now looking at ways to reduce the destruction wreaked by starfish, which have the ability to smother coral and digest the fleshy parts. "Crown of thorns are amazing creatures, they can grow to larger than a dinner plate they have multiple arms they're covered in spines," said Craig Humphrey, manager of the AIMS SEASIM project, the world's largest marine environment simulator. "They go onto a coral, invert their stomach and dissolve and digest the coral tissue.".... Excess fertiliser from agriculture, in Queensland particularly from sugar cane farming, is leached into rivers which then run into the sea, taking these concentrated nutrients to the reef.
[Read more stories about: fertilizer runoff, coral bleaching]
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'Doc Jim says:
These starfish sound like black holes.

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