Osprey Reef

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Coordinates: 13°54′29″S 146°36′55″E / 13.90806°S 146.61528°E / -13.90806; 146.61528

Acropora coral garden with giant clam at Raging Horn, Osprey Reef

Osprey Reef is a submerged atoll in the Coral Sea, northeast of Queensland, Australia. It is part of the Northwestern Group of the Coral Sea Islands. Osprey Reef is roughly oval in shape, measuring 25 by 12 km, and covers around 195 km2. It has a perimeter of 69.5 km.[1] The central lagoon is only 30 m deep.[2]

The almost vertical reef walls, which rise from a depth of c. 2000 m, are home to a dwarf form of Nautilus pompilius that is isolated from other nautilus populations by more than 100 km.[1][3][4] Schindleria brevipinguis, one of the world's smallest fish, is found in the Osprey Reef lagoon.[5]

Bathymetric map of Osprey Reef, showing its location around 110 km from the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef 
Osprey Reef from the air, showing nautilus detection sites used in a 1998–2008 study by Dunstan et al.[3] 


  1. ^ a b Dunstan, A.; Bradshaw, C. J. A.; Marshall, J. (2011). Solan, Martin, ed. "Nautilus at risk – estimating population size and demography of Nautilus pompilius". PLoS ONE 6 (2): e16716. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016716. PMC 3037370. PMID 21347360.  edit
  2. ^ Osprey Reef. Dive the World.
  3. ^ a b Dunstan, A. J.; Ward, P. D.; Marshall, N. J. (2011). Solan, Martin, ed. "Nautilus pompilius life history and demographics at the Osprey Reef Seamount, Coral Sea, Australia". PLoS ONE 6 (2): e16312. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016312. PMC 3037366. PMID 21347356.  edit
  4. ^ Dunstan, A. J.; Ward, P. D.; Marshall, N. J. (2011). Solan, Martin, ed. "Vertical distribution and migration patterns of Nautilus pompilius". PLoS ONE 6 (2): e16311. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016311. PMC 3043052. PMID 21364981.  edit
  5. ^ Watson, W.,; Walker, H.J. (2004). The world's smallest vertebrate, Schindleria brevipinguis, a new paedomorphic species in the family Schindleriidae (Perciformes: Gobioidei). PDF Records of the Australian Museum 56: 139–142.