Much like a doctor with a stethoscope, scientists can use the sounds of a coral reef to help gauge its health. Now, a team working in Indonesia has paired insights into these sounds with new computer and audio-recording equipment. Their work holds the possibility of creating swift and cheap reef health checks. "Our findings show that a computer can pick up patterns that are undetectable to the human ear," said Ben Williams, a marine researcher at the University College London. "It can tell us faster, and more accurately, how the reef is doing." The findings suggest that listening to the symphony of the reef could help scientists track the fate of these critical habitats and provide clues about whether restoration projects are really working.

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