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The Ocean Blog

These deep-sea corals at the Madison-Swanson Marine Reserve in the Gulf of Mexico are protected, along with the marine life they harbor. Learn more about deep-sea corals and marine protected areas in...
Corals are sedentery animals, so how do they reproduce? One way is sexually through spawning , when the corals release eggs and sperm into the water (often at the same time due to some sort of...
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...
Two events made me passionate about deep-sea corals . One was my first submarine dive in a deep-sea coral bed off the Hawaiian island of Oahu. There was an incredibly lush community of corals and...
The People's Reef, a part of the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef , from above. The HCCR was created by Margaret and Christine Wertheim of the Institute For Figuring and is on exhibit at Smithsonian's...
In this close-up photo, you can actually see the photosynthetic algae, or zooxanthellae, living inside a tiny coral polyp. Look for the brownish-green specks in the colorless polyp. Corals depend on...
Flower-like zoanthids, relatives of coral, carpet a hydrothermal vent. This species of zoanthid is the first ever discovered at a hydrothermal vent. See more pictures of incredible deep sea diversity...
A thicket of white stony coral ( Lophelia pertusa ) shelters a squat lobster (Eumunida picta). This is the typical shape of this widespread species of deep-sea coral. See more pictures of coral in...
Crocheted corals from the Smithsonian Community Reef group on Flickr. The community reef project is a satellite reef of the Institute For Figuring’s Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef exhibition, was on...
Compare the healthy coral on the left with the bleached coral on the right. Increased water temperatures caused the bleached coral to lose the microscopic algae that give the coral color and provide...
Dr. Amy Baco-Taylor dives to deep-sea environments to study corals and the invertebrates that live in them. Learn how she became interested in deep-sea corals , and explore more in the multimedia...
Sea stars are important members of marine ecosystems, especially in the tropics. We may think of tropical coral reefs as being home mainly to fish and corals, but in fact these habitats are home to a...
What are corals? Corals themselves are animals. But tropical reef-building corals have tiny plant-like organisms living in their tissue. The corals couldn’t survive without these microscopic algae–...
When he was 10 years old, Stephen Cairns lived in Cuba where he kept a collection of butterflies and sea shells. When his family moved to Louisiana, he could bring only one of the collections with...
Near the intense volcanic CO 2 vents bubbling from the cracks in the seafloor, the water is so acidic that it dissolves coral skeletons. Read more about how reef scientist Laetitia Plaisance uses...
Discovered in 2004 and named in 2009, this Gersemia juliepackardae coral has been spotted and collected at several seamounts in the northeast Pacific Ocean at depths of 500-2,000 m (1,640-6,562 ft)...
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...
Much of the carbon dioxide we emit into the atmosphere ends up in the ocean. As CO 2 levels rise, seawater becomes more acidic. This change in chemistry poses a serious threat to marine organisms...
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