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An international team of scientists has discovered a [hugely / huge] coral reef in the Amazon River. The team from the [university / universities] of Georgia in the USA and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil was [on / to] an expedition to learn more about Amazon River plumes when it made the [discover / discovery] . Plumes are the areas close [to / at] where a river meets the sea and the river's freshwater [mixtures / mixes] with the saltwater of the ocean. The reef system [spans / spars] an area of 5,800 square kilometres, stretching from the [coast / coats] of French Guiana to the rainforest of the Brazilian state of Maranhao. The finding has surprised marine [biological / biologists] because reefs are rarely found in large rivers as the water is usually too muddy and dark, and does not [contain / contents] enough salt.

The scientists only explored 10 per cent [off / of] the reef. They said there were many sponges, [creative / creatures] and other marine life that had [adapted / adopted] to life in the darker waters. They also recorded 73 species of reef fish, many of them [cavernous / carnivorous] . Researcher Dr. Patricia Yager [enthused / enthusiasm] about what she had seen. She said: "We [brought / bought] up the most [amazing / amazed] and colorful animals I have ever seen on an expedition." Sadly, not [all / the] news about the reef is good. The whole area has been earmarked for oil exploration. Dr Yager warned that: "From ocean [acidification / acrid] and ocean warming to plans for offshore oil exploration right on top of these new discoveries, the whole system is [at / to] risk from human impacts."

 
 

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