What is Coral?

Corals have held our fascination for thousands of years, but much of what we know about them has only been discovered recently. Liam Shaw talks to Tom about what corals are and how they form, and their extraordinary variety (over two thousand species have so far been described). They look at some of the milestones in our knowledge of this flower-animal, including Darwin’s account of coral atoll formation, and the importance of the oral history of Indigenous peoples around the coast of Australia in understanding the development of the Great Barrier Reef. As coral reefs now face almost total destruction from climate change, they also consider some of the fixes people have come up with to protect them, and whether it’s possible to put a monetary value on such natural phenomena.

Find further reading on the episode page: https://lrb.me/coralpod

Book livestream tickets for Seamus Perry and Mark Ford live here: https://lrb.me/closereadingsevent

Book livestream tickets for Wallace Shawn live here: https://lrb.me/shawnevent


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