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The Ocean Blog

An orange brisingid starfish sits on a large reef of Lophelia pertusa, cold-water corals in the Gulf of Mexico, at 450 m depth as a school of fish swims above. They have many arms—up to 20!—covered...
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...
Detail of the Smithsonian Community Reef, a local, community-created "satellite" to the Institute For Figuring's Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef exhibit.
When you are shopping for gifts and jewelry, steer clear of gifts that use real coral or other marine animal products. Deepwater pink and red corals in particular have been prized for their beauty in...
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...
This close-up photograph of gold coral ( Gerardia sp. ) was taken at the Cross Seamount in the Pacific Ocean at a depth of 400 m (1,312 ft). Gold corals at this location can have lifespans of 2,000...
A coral hermit crab, Paguritta harmsi , about the size of two grains of rice, living in coral in the waters of Japan's Ogasawara Islands.
Dr. Brendan Roark discusses different methods of sampling deep-sea corals with undergraduate students Sam Kuykendall, left, and Beth Stockert, center, in the Stable Isotope Geosciences Facility at...
We have arrived as the advanced scouting party to the scene of this year's field work location: Pemuteran, a small fishing village in northwest Bali. More importantly, we are sitting squarely at the...
Deep-sea corals scientist Dr. J. Murray Roberts photographed these living polyps from the Mingulay Reef Complex off Scotland in aquaria in 2010. Learn more about Roberts' work mapping deep-sea corals...
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...
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...
Flower-like clusters of polyps make up this coral colony. Their pink color comes from the zooxanthellae living inside. More about coral reef ecosystems can be found in our Coral Reefs featured story .
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...
Come along as scientist Dr. Brendan Roark narrates a submersible dive to collect and study deep-sea corals. Roark studies deep-sea corals to understand the history of the ocean and past ocean...
A fan-shaped colony of red coral ( Corallium sp.) on the Davidson Seamount provides a perch for three basket stars as they feed. See more pictures of coral in our Deep-sea Corals article.
A marine scientist performs a genetic analysis on a sample of deep-sea coral to find out if it is a known species or one new to science. Find out how ocean scientists study deep-sea corals in our...
J. Murray Roberts is a scientist who studies and maps an area of the cold-water coral called Lophelia in the North Atlantic, where the bases of some coral mounds are 2.6 million years old. Explore...
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