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The Ocean Blog

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...
A robotic arm on the Johnson-Sea-Link submersible retrieves Galatheid crabs for research. Growing in the background is a species of the deep-sea coral Lophelia. Explore more in the multimedia feature...
Reef sharks rarely get any love. These sharks, comprising several species, loiter around coral reefs, snacking on small fish, squids and crustaceans. And while their size is nothing to smirk at—5-10...
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...
A coral ( Montastraea faveolata ) has just spawned. Each of the hundreds of polyps living in the colony releases a small pink bundle of sperm and eggs. Read more about coral spawing and watch a...
New, white growth emerges from a living deep-sea coral sample that was stained pink, enabling ocean scientists to measure its coral growth rate. Find out more about how ocean scientists study deep-...
Nine years ago I was invited by a colleague to join a research team investigating deep-sea coral habitats . I was asked to examine the invertebrates associated with these ecosystems. After my first...
Red coral necklaces fill a store display window. The United States annually imports around one million live coral animals from tropical reefs for use in aquariums, and is the largest documented...
When coral reefs are damaged, they sometimes struggle to grow back because there aren't enough coral seedlings around, and the ones that are around are growing together too closely. Enter: the coral...
Views of each sonar beam appear on the left side of this computer screen image while the path being mapped by the ship appears on the right. These 3-D color images enable ocean scientists to locate...
Visitors to the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef temporary exhibit at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History saw both the main installation created by to the Institute For Figuring and 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...
I still haven’t gotten beyond the ‘gee whiz’ factor of studying communities of animals in deep-sea coral habitats. Climbing over undersea mountains and along the steep cliffs of submarine canyons...
Peter Auster and colleagues direct a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) dive on the New England Seamounts. Three teams composed of three scientists and four ROV engineers take two 4-hour watches every...
The pearly razorfish’s name may be slightly misleading since it is neither as rare as a pearl nor as dangerous as a razor. It is a common fish that tends to live in clear shallow areas near seagrass...
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–...
Unlike the shallow tropical coral reef pictured on the top, the deep-sea Oculina reef at bottom does not require sunlight. Learn more in the article " Coral Gardens of the Deep Sea ."
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