As with rainforests, we are just beginning to understand the complexity of reefs and how they contribute to the health of our oceans. Study has dramatically increased since the development of SCUBA technology in the past 60 years. Now we know that coral reef habitats, in connection with related mangrove swamps and wetlands, harbor about one-quarter of all marine species - more than a million different creatures - from fish on which humans depend, to sponges, acting as marine "lungs," daily filtering up to 30,000 times their own body masses.
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