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The Ocean Blog

Ocean acidification is sometimes called “climate change’s equally evil twin,” and for good reason: it's a significant and harmful consequence of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that we don't...
Nestled among the beautiful coral reefs of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a place that could provide the key to our understanding of one of the biggest threats to coral reef survival: Ocean Acidification...
In this brief video clip from NOAA, catch a glimpse of the startling beauty and diversity of life found among deep-sea corals near the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. Explore more in the multimedia...
The New England Seamount Chain is the longest in the North Atlantic Ocean. It includes more than 30 major volcanic peaks. Seamounts provide a solid surface for corals and other marine animals to...
Researchers can study ocean acidification in the lab by rearing organisms in seawater with variable pH and measuring if they grow, eat, breathe, reproduce, or develop differently. It's common, for...
Boring sponges get a bad rap. Their own name betrays them, announcing to the world that they are unexciting, ordinary and quite frankly, boring. However, if ever a misnomer existed, this is it. More...
This specimen of the deep-sea coral Desmophyllum dianthus shows the visible bands that help marine scientists learn how ocean conditions changed over time. By looking at the thickness of each band,...
Lights attached to this modern deep-sea camera system enable scientists to capture detailed images of deep-sea coral reefs and their inhabitants in otherwise dark water. Learn more about how ocean...
The pink strands of this single deep-sea coral harbor a variety of marine life. Sea whips are gorgonian corals and have flexible skeletons. See more pictures of coral in our Deep-sea Corals article.
Searching for useful chemicals, marine scientists grow bacteria associated with deep-sea coral on nutrient agar to identify the bacteria and test their metabolic and biochemical capabilities. Some...
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.
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...
The branches of a primnoid coral in the genus Calyptrophora provide a habitat for galathaoid crabs. Learn more about the deep-sea coral reefs in our Deep-sea Corals article .
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...
Smithsonian zoologist Dr. Steve Cairns named and described this deep-sea coral species, Stephanocyathus paliferus, which is now preserved in the collections of the National Museum of Natural History...
While bottom trawling—a fishing method that drags a large net with heavy weights across the seafloor—fishermen often catch more than their target fish. Here, they've scooped up a large deep-sea coral...
Sample the surprising diversity of deep-sea corals. See some of the ways they differ in color, shape, and size. Explore more in the multimedia feature " Coral Gardens of the Deep Sea ."
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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