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The Ocean Blog

In this photo of a shallow coral reef in the Pacific there are three species of forams . On the left, Peneroplis planatus . In the center, Amphistegina lessonii . And on the right, Laevipeneroplis sp...
This colorful coral lives in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. On the whole, this coral reef is the largest single structure built by living organisms and can be seen from space! Although more than one...
Welcome to Citizens of the Sea , a new blog series where ocean life comes to life. Our book by the same name came out in September, but no sooner had it gone off to the printer than new ocean stories...
This bearded fireworm ( Hermodice carunculata ) must have a strong stomach -- it’s sucking on fire coral ( Millepora sp. ), which would give the unlucky snorkeler a nasty sting. Encountered in St...
Scientists at the Smithsonian and partnering organizations have discovered a remarkably primitive eel in a fringing reef off the coast of the Republic of Palau . This fish exhibits many primitive...
Local crafters who contributed to the Smithsonian Community Reef proved that there is no limit to the colorful reef forms that can be created using hyperbolic crochet techniques. Their wildly...
Shallow water coral reefs straddle the equator worldwide. The shallow coral reefs found in U.S. territorial waters are highlighted in purple in this map. More about coral reef ecosystems can be found...
A diversity of deep-sea corals—including primnoid coral ( Narella sp.), black coral ( Trissopathes pseudtristicha ), and feather stars ( Florometra serratissima )—flourish 2,669 m (8,757 ft) deep on...
In the past 30 years, the Great Barrier Reef -- Australia's iconic natural wonder -- has lost half of its coral to a combination of forces. Dr. Nancy Knowlton, Sant Chair of Marine Science at the...
In the wet lab aboard the R/V Seward Johnson , Dr. Martha Nizinski examines a sample of the deep-sea coral Lophelia pertusa , collected 600-m (1,969-ft) deep off the coast of the southeastern United...
Discover some amazing corals in this footage that shows and identifies a range of deep-sea coral species from the Juan de Fuca Canyon
Black corals, like this one growing on the Manning Seamount off the New England coast, often resemble bushes or trees. Contrary to its name, the living tissue of black coral can be one of several...
These corals are dead—smothered in sediments and overgrown with algae. The reef is near Komodo Island in Indonesia. More about coral reef ecosystems can be found in our Coral Reefs featured story .
On March 1, 1954, the United States military tested nuclear bombs in the ocean around Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean to see what kind of damage they would do to ships. The largest explosion was...
The Johnson-Sea-Link submersible reaches the ocean’s surface with a specimen of Keratoisis bamboo coral inside its collection box. Find out how ocean scientists study deep-sea corals in our Deep-sea...
A photo taken at a reef near Bocas del Toro, Panama. The reef suffered a mass bleaching event in the summer of 2010, when water temperatures were unusually high. In this photo, healthy brown coral...
Scientists don’t often get the opportunity to travel through time. But nestled among the beautiful coral reefs of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a place that provides a glimpse today of what could be the...
Several species of deep-sea corals form a garden 165 m (540 ft) below the ocean’s surface off the coast of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. Explore more in the multimedia feature " Coral Gardens of the...
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